Can you be arrested for over-the-counter drugs?

Interviewer: Are there any over-the-counter drugs that would cause you a problem if you had too many of them?

Ladan Law: Over the counter medications cause some concerns on several fronts, but as far as being prosecutable in and of itself, no. Generally it is a precursor for some other type of investigation.

It can overlap with driving under the influence. If you are taking an over-the-counter medication in a manner that it is prescribed, it is difficult based solely on that to get a D.U.I. (driving under the influence). However, if you combine the prescription with alcohol, you get into the area of D.U.I.

The only thing that is needed to prove a D.U.I. in Florida is impairment. You may have only had a drink and a half, but if you’ve taken NyQuil all day, or you’re on a sleeping medication that you should have known would interact with the alcohol, you may be found impaired. If your officer feels that the impairment is any way due to the alcohol, they can conceivably use that to push forward with a D.U.I.

Some over-the-counter medications can be problematic if you’re buying them in bulk. There are some over-the-counter medications that are involved in the manufacturing of some amphetamines and they will look very closely at you if you’re buying crate after crate of Ephedrine, or something of that nature. They’re going to use that possibly as a precursor of a search warrant for your home, with the belief that these medications are being use to make methamphetamine or speed.

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.

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