McIntosh Law
Speak With Our Attorneys -
Phone: 941-306-3230
View Our Practice Areas

Yes, prescribed medication can lead to DUIs for Florida drivers

Many people who decide to drive while chemically impaired may not even realize they broke the law in doing so. Although alcohol is the most common mind-altering substance involved in impaired driving charges, driving under the influence of any drug that impacts your ability to drive is a violation of Florida law. That could include driving after taking prescribed medication, even if you use it the exact way that your doctor recommends.

You may feel like you trust your own ability to drive safely after taking a medication you have used for some time. However, you may underestimate how the medication you take affects you. If law enforcement pulls you over for erratic driving and finds out that you have taken prescription medication or used medical marijuana, that could be adequate grounds for them to arrest you for impaired driving immediately.

Just because you can take the medication doesn't mean you can drive

Having a legal prescription authorizes you as a patient to possess an otherwise controlled substance. Provided that you comply with the recommendations of your doctor, you can legally take medication that would otherwise not be available, ranging from sedatives to painkillers.

If you have certain qualifying conditions, you could also have a recommendation from a doctor and a state license for medical marijuana. However, just because you have the authorization to use a drug does not mean it is legal for you to drive after taking it. If it affects your normal functions, you can't legally operate a vehicle after taking the medication.

Any medication that comes with a warning about driving, drowsiness or operating heavy machinery is likely a medication that could result in impaired driving charges under Florida law. That includes medical marijuana, even though there isn't a specific impairment cutoff for the drug if you wind up taking a chemical, blood or urine test.

First offenses can have criminal and professional consequences

Even if you have never gotten in trouble with the law before, a drugged driving conviction is something you need to take seriously. There is no guaranteed leniency just because you don't have a previous criminal record.

The potential penalties for a first-time drugged driving conviction could include a fine of between $500 and $1,000, as long as six months in jail, 50 hours of community service and the loss of your license for up to a year. Convictions can also impact your employment, your professional licensing and your ability to stay in a specific career path.

There may be options available for mounting a criminal defense or otherwise negotiating to reduce the impact of these potential charges on your life. Talking about your situation with a Florida attorney who has experience with both criminal defense and professional licensing can help you mitigate the consequences of pending charges.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Avvo Rating 9.6 | Brett Donald McIntosh | Top Attorney
  • Avvo | Clients' Choice Award 2016 | Brett Donald McIntosh
  • Reviews | 5 stars Out of 16 reviews | Brett Donald McIntosh | Avvo
Email Us For A Response

Get Started Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Location:

McIntosh Law
766 Hudson Avenue
Suite B
Sarasota, FL 34236

Toll Free: 866-943-0466
Phone: 941-306-3230
Fax: 941-957-0706
Sarasota Law Office Map