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DUI FAQs

Will Vicodin show up on a breathalyzer test?


A breathalyzer test is designed to identify the presence of alcohol in a person's blood stream by taking a sample of his breath and using a ratio to estimate the amount of alcohol in the blood based on the amount of alcohol in the person's breath.

While a number of factors may interfere with an accurate reading on a breathalyzer test, the chemical compounds in Vicodin (Hydrocodone and Paracetamol) will have no effect on your BAC reading.

Is it safe to drive on Vicodin?
Charges for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol often extend to other drugs, as well. If you are prescribed to a painkiller like Vicodin, don't drive until you know how it will affect your ability to do so, and always follow the advice of your doctor. Even when taken at the proper dosage, Vicodin can slow reaction times and cause dizziness, among other effects.

What if I don't have a prescription?
Vicodin is a controlled substance. Being in possession of a controlled substance without a prescription is illegal, and taking Vicodin recreationally is dangerous. The narcotic element in Vicodin, hydrocodone, is addictive, and you should never take the drug unless you have been prescribed to do so by a doctor.

What if I drink and take Vicodin?
If you're prescribed to Vicodin, it can be dangerous to mix alcohol with the drug. Vicodin contains acetaminophen, which can harm the liver if taken in high doses. Your liver works hard to process alcohol, and throwing Vicodin into the mix can be fatal.

Alcohol can also exacerbate the side-effects of Vicodin, including drowsiness and dizziness, severely impairing you and making it dangerous to drive.

Taking a breath test
Some studies have shown that being diabetic can produce a false positive on a breathalyzer test. Breathalyzers look at ethanol compounds in the breath, which are not limited to ethyl-alcohol. Diabetics naturally produce acetone, which will show up in a breathalyzer test as alcohol, and may result in a DUI arrest even if the driver is not intoxicated.

If you're not sure of how your medication or physical condition may affect a breathalyzer test, make sure to disclose any medication you are taking or illness you may be suffering from in the event of a DUI traffic stop. If your mouth is bleeding, for instance, a single drink may produce a high, inaccurate BAC reading from a breathalyzer test.


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