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DUIs aren't only for drinking and driving

Drinking and driving is illegal, and most people understand that easily. They know that at a .08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC), they can be pulled over and arrested. They know that is the legal limit, and if breached, could result in a DUI.

One thing some people don't realize is that you can get a DUI if you use drugs or medications that make you into a dangerous driver. Many kinds of drugs impair your vision, release your inhibitions and make you more dangerous to yourself and others. Some drugs make you tired, while others affect how fast you think or process new information.

Before you get behind the wheel, it's a good idea to think about what you've ingested today. If you took a new medication or had a few drinks, it might be a better idea to let someone else drive you home. Even if it's an inconvenience, it's better than ending up with a DUI.

Interestingly, even prescription medications can lead to a DUI if you're not cautious. Remember that mixing medications with alcohol is a common cause of enhanced side effects, which could make you dangerous behind the wheel.

It's a good decision to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the potential side effects of any medications you take along with the risks of increased side effects due to alcohol consumption. You may be stopped if you look intoxicated, but even if you haven't been drinking, there's a risk of an arrest. Your attorney can help you fight the charges if you believe you've been charged for a crime you didn't commit.

Source: Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, "Drugs and Driving," accessed March 14, 2018

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