When most people think about DUIs, alcohol often comes to mind, but what about the prescription drugs that you take? While taking medicine to relieve pain may seem quite different from spending a night at the bar, the effects on your driving can be similar.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of Americans use prescription drugs on a regular basis. With this in mind, knowing what the law says about driving while using your medication may prevent unnecessary legal trouble down the road.
Floridians use many types of legal drugs for medicinal use
In Florida, millions of residents use legal drugs for numerous valid medical conditions. Many prescriptions are for controlled substances which are a class of drugs that may pose a high risk of addiction. Substances that fall into this category include opioids, hallucinogens, stimulants, depressants and anabolic steroids. Florida also has a regulated medicinal cannabis program.
Legalities do not extend to the road
Although it is legal for you to consume controlled substances according to your doctor’s instructions in the privacy of your home, that right does not extend to your car. Whenever you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, state law says that you must be clear-minded enough to drive. As such, if your blood or urine test results suggest that you are not, you may end up facing a DUI charge.
If your doctor prescribes you a controlled substance, familiarizing yourself with your local laws before driving with it in your system can help you avoid unexpected charges during a traffic stop. When in doubt, it is better not to drive.