DUI of Drugs in West Palm Beach

In the past 25 years, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the states, schools, and law enforcement agencies across the nation have launched countless campaigns to educate the American public about the dangers of drinking and driving.

As a result of these sweeping efforts, it's virtually impossible for a Florida driver not to know about the dangerous of drunk driving. However, millions of people do not realize is that we have another problem that's grown dramatically in recent years – driving under the influence of drugs.

I'm not only talking about driving under the influence of illegal street drugs, such as LSD, cocaine, and methamphetamines, I'm also referring to driving under the influence of lawfully prescribed prescription medications, such as Xanax, Lunesta, and Vicodin.

Under Section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes, it's illegal to drive under the influence of alcoholic beverages, or any controlled or chemical substance to the point where the driver's normal faculties are impaired.

This means that you can be arrested and convicted of DUI for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including medication lawfully prescribed by your medical doctor or psychiatrist.

The issue with prescription drugs is that many of them affect alertness, judgement and motor control, similar to alcohol. Some medications make people drowsy, while others make people dizzy. Some formulations cause people to lose muscle coordination and they lead to serious vision disturbances – all of which affect one's ability to drive safely.

So, if you fall asleep at the wheel because your anti-anxiety medication kicked in, or if you mixed your antipsychotic drug with one glass of wine, you could have difficulty driving safely.

If you're arrested on DUI charges and a blood test comes back positive for medication in your system, you could face DUI charges under Sec. 316.193, which is punishable by the following for a first offense:

  • Probation
  • Community service
  • A misdemeanor on your criminal record
  • A fine not to exceed $1,000
  • Up to six months in jail
  • Up to one year driver's license revocation

To learn more about the penalties for an alcohol or drug-related DUI in Florida, click here.

Need a West Palm Beach DUI attorney to defend your DUI of drug charges? Contact my firm for a free initial consultation!


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