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Michigan DUI and Driver’s License Restoration Lawyer’s Warning to Avoid Nyquil

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Perhaps because I see this issue so frequently, I cannot ever recall not knowing that products like Nyquil and Formula 44D have alcohol in them. I think the same thing goes for the Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD), probation officers and Judges. Accordingly, there is a tendency for all of them to just figure that everyone knows this stuff. However, and because I actually sit down and listen to and talk with my clients, I know that many people either don’t know, don’t think about, or just plain forget that certain products contain alcohol.

This means that some positive test results truly are innocent mistakes.

In the real world, though, that’s often just not good enough. When whoever is in charge of supervising your case (the Michigan Secretary of State if it’s a driver’s license issue, or a local court if you’re dealing with a Michigan DUI) gets wind of a positive test result, then the only conclusion to be reached is that you had alcohol in your system, or else the test is false. False positives for alcohol can occur, but they happen far less when breath samples are taken than when they are the result of things like urine (including ETG) testing or SCRAM tether readings.

Sometimes the most profound wisdom is also the simplest. Recently, I was reminded that, “the past is gone forever.” Whatever else, you cannot go back in time. If you get a positive test result, you cannot take it back. You can explain it, or explain why it’s wrong, but you can’t turn back the hands of time and undo it.

Inevitably, you’ll be called before someone to explain a positive test result. Very often, you will have been expected to take a subsequent test 5, 10 or 15 minutes after the first to rule out a false positive. When an ignition interlock unit is involved, some people don’t stick around for the next required test, claiming that they “freaked out” or didn’t know what to do, which, of course, only makes things look worse. Either way, you’re stuck trying to offer up what is generally considered one of the oldest tricks in the book as an excuse to someone who has heard it a million times.

If you’re in this situation, then of course you need expert help. As I noted before, the “Nyquil” excuse is most regrettable when it is true. You’ll need to do a lot better than just come in with no circumstantial or extraneous proof or some kind of verification of your having been ill. Even if you live alone, maybe you called in sick the next day, or told someone at work to keep their distance because you didn’t feel well. We’ll need to round up as much of that kind of evidence as possible to at least give some credibility to your story.

In the end, though, it’s just far better to not be in this position in the first place. Look at the products in your medicine cabinet. If any of them contain alcohol, replace them with alcohol-free alternatives. There are plenty.