We almost always think of a DUI as a drunk driving charge. However, in Florida, the law prohibits Driving Under the Influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, and controlled substances. This means that you can be charged with a DUI if law enforcement believes your driving is impaired by drugs—whether they are illegal street drugs or prescription medications. These can be tricky charges to beat because so much of it is up to the discretion of the arresting officer.
How Is Prescription Drug Impairment Measured?
When you are suspected of drunk driving, you are given a test to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). If your BAC is over the legal limit of .08, you will be charged with a DUI. However, there is no legal standard for how much medication has to be in your system when you are operating a vehicle to be charged with a DUI for drugs. If a police officer witnesses erratic driving and discovers that you are taking a prescription that could affect your ability to drive, you could be charged with DUI.
What Kinds of Drugs Can Impair Driving?
There are many over-the-counter and prescription medications that can cause drowsiness, blurred vision, slowed movement, nausea, and an inability to focus. These drug side-effects can impact a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), the following types of medications could make it dangerous to drive:
- Opioid pain relievers
- Prescription drugs for anxiety
- Anti-seizure medications
- Antipsychotics and some antidepressants
- Cold medications containing codeine
- Stimulants such a caffeine pills and ephedrine
- Muscle relaxants and sleeping pills
One drug in particular that officers will look for when they pull you over is marijuana. Even if you have a prescription for medical marijuana, you could be charged with a DUI for using any amount of marijuana or Cannabidiol (CBD).
If You Are Charged, You Need a Serious DUI Defense Attorney
It doesn’t matter if you were over the legal limit for alcohol, or you were a little groggy from cold medicine. A DUI conviction appears on your record as just that—a DUI. Not only will you face harsher penalties for the next DUI, but even one DUI conviction can affect your ability to get certain jobs and to pay reasonable car insurance rates.
Request a free download of our book, A Six Pack of Questions That Can Cause a Hangover After a DUI Arrest, and contact Danny Izquierdo for help defending your prescription or over-the-counter drug DUI charge.
Do You Need A Miami DUI Defense Laywer?
If you find yourself charged with DUI in Miami you need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Coral Gables office directly at 305.707.7345. You should also download my free book "A Six Pack Of Questions That Can Cause A Hangover After A DUI Arrest". This free download provides valuable information and answers to questions about DUI charges that can give you the best chance at winning your case.