When people think about a DUI accident or just driving under the influence, they immediately think of alcohol. But someone can be picked up for DUI if their impairment has a more innocent source, such as prescription drugs. Famous golfer Tiger Woods, for example, was stopped for driving erratically, which he attributed to medication to treat his back pain. Under Florida’s laws, DUI can also apply when a person’s driving ability is impaired by a prescription drug.
Florida’s Law on Drugged Driving
Florida’s DUI statute is found at § 316.193. It states that a person is guilty of DUI if they are driving or in control of a vehicle and impaired by alcohol or any chemical substance set forth in two chapters of the code:
- Section 877.111. This section makes it illegal to inhale, ingest, or possess certain chemicals, such as nitrous oxide or butyl nitrite without a prescription.
- Chapter 893. This chapter contains schedules of controlled substances, including pain killers.
If you are impaired while using a controlled substance, then you can be guilty of “drugged driving” and be convicted of DUI—even if you have a prescription and even if you took the prescribed amount.
Accident Victims and Drugged Driving
Florida is currently seeing record drug overdose rates, so the number of drugged drivers on the road at any given time could be astronomical. These drivers put everyone at risk. Drugged drivers are more likely to:
- Fall asleep at the wheel and drift into oncoming traffic
- Take risks behind the wheel and engage in distracted driving
- Become enraged while driving and intentionally harm someone
- Become confused or disengaged and not be able to avoid accidents
These are only some of the more common problems with prescription drugs. Other drugs might be fine individually but impair someone when taken in combination.
If you or a loved one is on prescription drugs, check to see that they do not induce drowsiness or other altered states. If they do, you should stop driving until you are off the medication, otherwise you are putting lives at risk.
Contact Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein Today
Were you hit by a drugged driver? Or were you an injured passenger in a car driven by someone under the influence of prescription drugs?
If so, you might have a claim for compensation. Reach out to one of our Miami car accident lawyers for more information about how you can bring a claim for compensation. Call 305-371-2692 right away to schedule a free consultation.