Can You Get a DUI While on Prescription Medication?
When most people hear the term “DUI,” they instinctively think of alcohol and drunk driving charges. In actuality, an individual can be charged with a DUI for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of any type of drug, including prescription medication. Any time an individual is found to be operating a vehicle, or could reasonably do so while his or her faculties are inhibited by any type of substance, he or she is subject to a DUI charge.
Sleeping pills such as Lunesta and Ambien are often linked with a severe impairment of a user’s ability to drive. Other drugs that can affect your ability to safely operate a vehicle include Ritalin, Xanax, Adderall, and Valium. If you take prescription drugs, talk to your doctor about any possible side effects that may occur before you begin taking them. Do not drive until you know how your medication affects you. If you are charged with a drug DUI, you need an experienced DUI attorney like Dana Morris to determine a legal strategy for your case.
How Can Law Enforcement Determine a Drug DUI?
Because breath tests cannot determine the presence of drugs other than alcohol in an individual’s body, an individual suspected of a drug DUI must undergo another type of test to determine whether he or she was under the influence when arrested. These individuals are usually asked to complete a field sobriety test, which allows officers to analyze an individual’s faculties by asking him or her to complete simple tasks, such as walking in a straight line and turning or standing on one leg. If an individual is suspected to be under the influence of drugs, he or she may be required to complete a urine or blood test.
Drug DUIs can be difficult to prove. To charge an individual with this type of DUI, the prosecutor must be able to prove without any doubt that the individual was, in fact, under the influence of a drug when he or she was arrested. In Florida, there is no threshold for a legal amount of prescription or other drugs to have in one’s body when driving, unlike alcohol, which is .08%.
Penalties for a Drug DUI
Individuals found guilty of drug DUIs face fines of up to $1,000 and six months in jail for a first offense and fines of up to $2,000 and up to nine months in jail for a second offense. A third-time drug DUI is a third degree felony, which has stricter penalties than those for first and second-time offenses.
DUI Attorney in Panama City
If you are facing a DUI charge, whether it is for driving under the influence of alcohol or any other type of drug, contact a Panama City drug crime defense lawyer at the Morris Law Firm at (850) 257-5680 to discuss your legal options and work out the best solution for your case. Dana Morris is a skilled Panama City DUI lawyer with 15 years of experience as a practicing attorney. Let him handle your DUI case and give your case the solid defense it deserves. Call today for a free consultation.