DUI stands for driving under the influence. It is not substance specific. If you get a DUI in Florida, you could get it for being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, are prescription drugs included here? Can you get a DUI if you are under the influence of a prescribed drug? The New York Times says that law enforcement say you can if you are exhibiting signs of being impaired by drugs when driving.
Of course, charging someone with a DUI for prescription drugs is not as easy or straightforward as it is with alcohol. Alcohol is simple to measure and goes through the bloodstream at a fairly easy to determine rate. It is not easy to tell when someone may have used a prescribed drug. In addition, drugs may stay in the system long after their effects have worn off, so a positive blood test could mean nothing.
Many areas have given officers special training to recognize the signs of drugged driving because they can differ from drunk driving. In addition, testing is being looked at to determine the most accurate methods. In general, the sobriety tests used for drunk driving are often used for suspected drugged driving. So, if you are pulled over for a DUI, even if you test negative for alcohol, you could still be arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs.
However, even if you are arrested, prosecutors are finding it is tough to get a conviction in front of a jury. This is due to the wide use of prescribed medications, specifically pain killers. Many jurors are on them, too and do not want to convict. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.