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Drunk driving and allergies

There are several symptoms that accompany Georgian seasonal allergies. Watery eyes and a runny nose are among the things that make living with allergic rhinitis uncomfortable. A new study from the Netherlands proves that allergies cause more than just discomfort. Symptoms may also lead to impaired driving.

The study followed participants who suffered from tree and grass pollen allergies. Participants were told to drive for 60 minutes with a camera attached to them. The result: drivers often veered to the center lane. The standard deviation of lateral position that the study utilized, is a test that is often used to determine drunk driving. Researchers concluded that drivers with allergy symptoms are comparable to drivers with .03 percent blood alcohol level.

Dr. Stanley Fineman of the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic stated that this study is very disturbing. He believes this reported impairment makes sense because his patients often report feeling tired and unlike themselves when they are suffering from allergic rhinitis caused by allergies. When the body experiences an allergic reaction, it releases histamine and other chemical mediators. The result can be that the body feels run down. His advice is to determine the cause of the allergy, and find an effective treatment.

Drivers with untreated allergy symptoms may want to pay close attention to this study. These allergy sufferers should also be mindful of facing drunk driving charges. Allergies may be a viable defense to a pending drunk driving charge. A drunk driving conviction can negatively affect a defendant’s future. An experienced defense attorney can aid defendants mount an effective defense.

Source: WSBTV, “Study: Driving with allergies similiar to drunken driving,” July 10, 2014

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