Throughout history, alcohol has been used for many “medicinal” purposes. It helps muscles and minds relax to a point, it is an antiseptic and topical painkiller, and there are varying opinions on how a glass of wine can benefit the heart. Even today, there are plenty of people who turn to alcohol-based remedies when cold season hits. Yet, few realize how easily that “hot toddy” can lead into a dangerous driving situation.
When you’re under the weather from a cold, sinus problems or the flu, mixing alcohol with your tea or other hot beverage can impact your ability to heal, as well as drive safely. Your head is already spinning from your illness, and it may be hard to concentrate, just through the haze of fighting off the infection. When you add alcohol on top of that, you’re reducing your body’s ability to get rid of germs naturally, plus, the combination of a fuzzy head from being sick and drinking alcohol increases the chances of an accident while driving.
Also, if you are taking cold medicine or using cough syrup, you are mixing those medications with alcohol. Over-the-counter and prescription medications always have warnings about drinking while using the medicine, and for good reason: you’re increasing the effects of both of them. Put yourself in the driver’s seat, and you’re looking at a fast road to a drunk driving conviction.
Instead of compounding the misery of your cold with the consequences of drunk driving, your best bet is to stay in bed and skip the hot toddy. An ignition interlock device is nothing you want to face as a result of an antiquated “cure” for the common cold, and since most colds and seasonal illnesses are better within a few days, you can find safer way to feel better, especially if you have to drive.