IS IT POSSIBLE TO GET A DUI FROM YOUR PRESCRIPTION PILLS?
A DUI from your prescription pills??? When I say DUI, what is the first thing you think of? Drinking and driving, right? Well, alcohol is not the only way someone can commit DUI in Florida. I remember having a conversation with a family member a few years back about this issue. They had just been prescribed a pain medication after surgery. While we were chatting it came up that the pills made him really tired, and that he almost fell asleep while driving through the neighborhood the day before. My family member recognized that he should not take his medications and drive afterwards, but he had no idea that he was actually committing the crime of Driving Under the Influence. Here is what the Florida DUI statute says:
- A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is subject to punishment as provided in subsection (2) if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and:
- The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired;
As you can see, it’s not only alcohol that can lead you to a DUI. Some common prescription medications that qualify under the DUI statute are Xanax, Oxycodone, Valium, Roxicodone, Codeine, and Morphine. If you want a full list of all the chemical and controlled substances that are covered under the DUI statute visit Florida statutes 877.111 and 893.03.
This does not mean that you cannot drive your car just because you took your Xanax prescription that morning, just as your doctor told you to. Think of it the same way you would alcohol – it’s not illegal to have a drink and drive, which is why restaurants that sell alcohol have parking lots! What is illegal is to drink enough beers that your ability to walk, talk, drive a car, act in emergencies, etc., are impaired. The same is true for prescription medications. If you find that your medications make you tired or distracted then it may be a good idea to get someone else to drive you or to call an Uber.
To find out more about what to do when you are pulled over for DUI dealing with prescription medications, look for my next blog.
Want more info? Contact me and we’ll discuss it in detail…