Can You Get A DUI for Drugs in Florida?

Florida State law not only prohibits driving while but also being in actual physical control of a vehicle or driving while under the influence of drugs or any other controlled substance. The penalties for all drug-related DUI are the same as those for alcohol DUI offense. The following substances can result in impairment.

  • Alcohol
  • Some over the counter prescriptions like cold and allergy medications
  • Illegal drugs
  • Some drugs prescribed by a medical practitioner
  • Or a combination of the above

Keep in mind that the Florida State law isn’t concerned with whatever is in your blood. It’s more concerned that your ability to drive safely is affected by the substances listed above. The drug might be an allergy tablet or cough medication you took several hours before you started driving. Probably you forgot the long-acting cold tablet you took in the morning and took a drink hours later. While it’s unlikely that cough medication can impair your ability to drive, the combination could make you feel sleepy or slow your response time.

Note that neither taking prescribed medication nor taking alcohol is illegal. However, driving a vehicle when sleepy and your reflex are impacted could result in a DUI charge. That means you can be charged and convicted of DUI for drugs.

Seek legal assistance

When it comes to alcohol-related DUI, there is a legal and standard limit. If you test above this limit, you will be charged with a DUI. However, this is not the case with drugs, whether legal or illegal. That means proving that you were under the influence while driving is challenging. Often, the prosecutors depend on witness testimony to pin a DUI offender down, and it’s your word against the law enforcement officers. Remember, you’re in their playground, and you require an expert to balance the scales. That’s where the services of an experienced Orlando DUI attorney come in.

If an officer suspects that you are driving under the influence of alcohol, they will ask you to take a breathalyzer test. Often, a blood test to determine your BAC is administered and in rare instances, a urine test is conducted. Because these standards don’t apply to DUI associated with other drugs, the law enforcement officer will call in an expert who can help in recognizing drugs and that expert might testify in court.

Note that the ‘no standard’ situation associated with driving under the influence of drugs might for or against you. The law requires the prosecutor to prove that you were impaired at the time you were in actual physical control of a vehicle or driving. However, your attorney understands that the test used to ascertain that you were impaired might be inaccurate. Though you can choose to go to trial without a defense attorney, you are better served to work with an experienced and skilled DUI attorney.

You will have to spend a good amount of money to hire such an attorney, but it’s better to pay the cash than losing your freedom and driving privileges.