Can Cough Medicine Like Nyquil Affect My Ignition Interlock Device?

Holding Smart Start Ignition Interlock Device in Vehicle

When flu or cold season rolls around, it’s time to break out the strong cough medicine or cough drops. If you must use an Ignition Interlock Device, you may be wondering if this kind of medication can affect your Ignition Interlock Device. It’s a valid thought after all. There are many articles online that talk about ‘false positives’  on Ignition Interlocks, and cough syrup or cough medicine is listed as one of these items that can cause a reading.

Let’s go over this situation and what to do to experience a successful Ignition Interlock program.

Cough Medicine and Ignition Interlock Devices

First, you should not have to feel anxious during your Ignition Interlock program. The device is a court and/or state requirement, but it is helping you drive again so you can continue with your everyday routine.

In the case of cough medication and Ignition Interlocks, we need to first explain how the Ignition Interlock functions.

An Ignition Interlock Device measures your breath alcohol concentration (BrAC). If your BrAC level is at or above the fail set point configured in the device, your vehicle will not start. Once the vehicle starts with a passing breath sample, however, there are random running retests throughout your driving trip to maintain your accountability to drive sober.

Some everyday products we use contain alcohol, such as cough medicine like Nyquil. The Ignition Interlock will measure all ingested alcohol, no matter where it comes from. As a tip, remember to swish your mouth with water before each breath test to help the alcohol dissipate more quickly from your cough medicine.

Remember to drive safe! Some cough medicine can affect your ability to drive due to dizziness and/or drowsiness. Read the label and warning signs on your bottle before driving.

Do you have any questions about the Smart Start Ignition Interlock program? Our 24/7/365 Customer Care Center agents are here to help at (800) 831-3299.

Need an Ignition Interlock Now?

Smart Start can help! We provide clients excellent pricing without compromising the quality of our products and services. If you need to schedule an installation appointment now, call (800) 831-3299 or fill out our online form.