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Can you be charged with a DUI for prescribed drugs?

Everyone knows that drunk driving and driving under the influence of illegal drugs are huge no-nos in Florida, but do you also know the risks of driving while under the influence of prescription drugs? Law enforcement can stop you and arrest you for driving under the influence of any substance, which includes prescription drugs, according to the New York Times. If you are displaying signs that you are not coherent or focused behind the wheel, expect to be pulled over. Law enforcement’s main job is to protect everyone on the roadways and if you cannot drive safely, they will remove you from those roadways.

However, managing drivers who are under the influence of prescription drugs is tough. There is not standard test or way to even know if you are currently under the influence because of the way drugs work within the body. You could have taken a drug two days ago and not at all be under its influence but still test positive for it. This makes it tough for the state to set a limit on how much of a drug you can have in your system before being considered under the influence. 

Another major issue is if you get arrested and go to court, it is tough to defend yourself. If you were on a prescription that came with a warning, such as “will cause drowsiness,” it can be hard to fight that in court and say you were fine to drive. However, juries often are on your side because most people are taking or have taken prescription drugs, so they can easily sympathize with you. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.


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