If a cold has you feeling woozy and you take NyQuil or Sundafed to make it through your drive home, you could be a criminal in New Hampshire.
A new law that took effect at the beginning of 2013 bans driving under the influence of not just illegal drugs, alcohol and prescription painkillers, but all over-the-counter drugs as well, along with “any other chemical substance, natural or synthetic, which impairs a person’s ability to drive.”
The bottom line is, if an officer suspects a driver is impaired and that driver admits to taking any kind of drug, an arrest will be made. “There is no shortage of these drivers out there,” a state police spokesperson told the Tribune. “We are targeting them aggressively.”
The change was part of a law signed in June that was meant to address the problem of narrowly written legislation interfering with the prosecution of drivers who were impaired on prescribed or over-the-counter medicines.
States all around the country have been widening legal terminology in recent years thanks to the explosion of prescription drug abuse and influx of synthetic chemicals in products like “K2″ and “bath salts” that mimic the effects of illegal drugs.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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