In Florida, the state’s driving under the influence (DUI) law can be found under Section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes. Under Florida law, a person is guilty of DUI when they are driving or are in actual physical control of a vehicle within Florida and they are under the influence of alcohol, any chemical substance in Sec. 877.111, or any substance that is controlled under Chapter 893, when the person’s normal faculties are impaired. It’s also illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level (BAL) of 0.08% or more in the blood.
So, in laymen terms, what does this all mean? You know you can get arrested for DUI if you drink alcohol and drive, but what types of drugs can lead to a Florida DUI? The answer, just about any controlled substance can lead to DUI charges, but that’s not all.
If you take Nyquil or Zzzquil to help you sleep, or melatonin, which is technically a hormone produced by the pineal gland and sold over-the-counter as a sleep aid, and you cause a crash because it makes you fall asleep at the wheel, you can face DUI charges.
What the State Says About Drugs
According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), it’s illegal to drive while you’re impaired by drugs, and if you do it, you’re subject to the same penalties as if you were driving under the influence of alcohol.
“Besides alcohol, there are many drugs that can affect a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. This is true for many prescription drugs, as well as over-the-counter medications for allergies and colds. If a person is taking medication, they should be sure to check the label for warnings about the medication’s effects prior to driving. If they are not sure it is safe to take the drug and drive, they should ask their doctor or pharmacist about any side effects,” according to the FLHSMV’s website.
While there are literally dozens, if not hundreds of legally prescribed and illicit drugs that can trigger DUI charges, here is a short list:
If you were arrested for a drug-related DUI and it surprised you because you didn’t realize you were breaking the law, welcome to the club. A lot of Floridians do not know they could be arrested for DUI when driving under the influence of a drug, especially when it’s legally-prescribed. To explore your legal defenses, contact my Miami DUI defense firm today.