Pensacola Defense Lawyers

Common Drugs That Cause DUI

Posted on Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 at 12:59 pm    

Florida’s driving under the influence (DUI) law is covered under Section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes. Contrary to popular belief, DUIs are not limited to alcohol. People can get arrested, charged and prosecuted for DUI if they drive under the influence of drugs, both legal and illegal if the state can prove that the drugs impaired the person’s ability to drive safely in any way.

What types of drugs are we talking about? In reality, almost nothing is off the table. If the drug can impair your ability to drive in any way, it can lead to a DUI. So, even common, over-the-counter medications (OTC) like NyQuil, Zzzquil, Benadryl, Unisom, and supplement melatonin can lead to a DUI. Why? Mainly because each of these OTC medications causes drowsiness, which can lead to accidents.

Common Illegal Drugs That Lead to DUI

While there are all kinds of illegal drugs on the streets, the following illicit drugs commonly lead to DUI:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • LSD
  • Mushrooms
  • Methamphetamine

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “After alcohol, marijuana is the drug most often found in the blood of drivers involved in crashes.” The NIDA continues, “Along with marijuana, prescription drugs are also commonly linked to drugged driving crashes. In 2016, 19.6 percent of drivers who drove while under the influence tested positive for some type of opioid.”

Prescription Drugs That Lead to DUI

Prescription drugs can be powerful. They can cause drowsiness, dizziness, slurred speech, and so on. If a prescription has a warning label that tells the patient to use caution when operating heavy machinery, it can probably impact safe driving.

There are many types of prescription medications that can impact safe driving but don’t just take our word for it. “Medications come with warnings about possible side effects, yet many people ignore the warnings. Side effects can include sleepiness, blurred vision, or fainting. Products that could affect a driver include prescription drugs for anxiety, some antidepressants, some cold remedies and allergy products, sleeping pills, and pain relievers,” according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Next: Why the Field Sobriety Tests?

Facing drug or alcohol-related DUI charges? Contact the The Morris Firm at (850) 503-2626 for a case evaluation.


How a DUI Can Impact Education Possibilities

Posted on Tuesday, September 10th, 2019 at 1:01 pm    

In our society and particularly Florida, which is known for being a spring break destination, drinking and partying is a common part of everyday life, especially among college students. College students often drink alcohol after exams, on Friday and Saturday nights, and sometimes on a daily basis.

If you’re in a college fraternity or sorority, you know how common alcohol is among the college crowd. The problem is, alcohol consumption can lead to drinking and driving, which can lead to a DUI, which can impact a student’s educational opportunities, not to mention their future. But how is this so? Let us count the ways.

There Are Many Ways DUI Impacts Education

Here are examples of how a DUI can affect educational opportunities:

  • If you are applying for a scholarship, it can be denied because of your criminal record.
  • If you are on a college sports team, the coach can have zero tolerance for DUI and kick you off.
  • If you are kicked off a college sports team because of a DUI and you were on an athletic scholarship, you can lose the scholarship.
  • You can be denied entry into a prestigious college of your choice because of the DUI conviction.
  • You can be kicked out of a college that has no tolerance for criminal behavior.
  • If you are studying for a professional license, such as a nursing license or a real estate license, etc., it can be denied because of the criminal conviction.
  • If you’re pursuing a degree in medicine or law, the DUI could ruin your plans.
  • If your educational plan involves becoming a teacher or working for the government, the DUI could prohibit you from pursuing your dreams.
  • If you plan on studying for a special career that requires a security clearance, your security clearance application can be denied because of the DUI.

DUIs and all criminal behavior for that matter can impact a college education or the pursuit of a professional or occupational license. Many schools and professional licensing boards have strict rules against criminal convictions, so a DUI often impacts college entry, scholarships, college athletics, and professional licenses.

If you’re in high school or college and facing DUI charges, our advice is to contact the Morris Firm, PLLC at once to schedule a meeting with an attorney who cares about your educational future.


Can I Get Fired for a DUI in Florida?

Posted on Tuesday, August 13th, 2019 at 12:43 pm    

Are you facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in Florida? If this is the first time you’ve been arrested for DUI, you probably have some pressing questions. “Will I go to jail? Will I lose my driver license? Will my insurance premiums skyrocket?” and “Will I get fired if I’m convicted of DUI?”

For the purposes of this article, we’re focusing on the last question and how a DUI can affect employment in Florida. We’re concentrating on this particular issue because everybody needs to earn a living and most DUI defendants are worried about how a DUI will affect their current job and future employment, and understandably so!

Florida is an At-Will Employment State

For starters, it’s important to understand that all states, except Montana, are “at-will” employment states. So, Florida is an at-will employment state. What does this mean and what does it have to do with DUI?

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), “At-will means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason without incurring legal liability. Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason with no adverse legal consequences.”

Generally, this means an employer can terminate an employee for any reason, except for discrimination. An employer can’t fire an employee for discriminatory reasons, such as race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, etc., but DUI? Can businesses fire employees for DUI? You bet they can. There is nothing in the law that says an employer cannot legally fire an employee for a DUI arrest or conviction.

Is the DUI Bad for Business?

In reality, not every DUI arrest or conviction leads to employee termination. Much of it depends on the employer’s view of DUIs, the employee’s relationship with the employer, if the employee is sentenced to jail, and if the DUI is just bad for business.

For example, a high school principal has a very high chance of losing his job if he’s arrested or convicted of DUI because it is bad for the school’s image. On the other hand, if the top salesman at a marketing agency was convicted of DUI and his employer loved him, his job may be waiting for him when he’s released from jail. So, it’s very fact-specific.

The occupations that are most threatened by a DUI and often lead to a termination, include but are not limited to:

  • Teachers
  • Childcare workers
  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Aviation (pilots)
  • Law enforcement
  • Commercial truck drivers
  • Professional drivers (e.g. cabs and limos)
  • Real estate agents (who drive clients around)

If you were arrested for DUI in Florida under Section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes, and you’re worried about losing your job, ask yourself these questions: “How does my employer feel about DUIs? If I go to jail, will my job be there when I get back? Does my profession frown upon DUIs?” Your answers may give you a better idea if your job is threatened by a DUI or not.

If you are facing DUI charges in Pensacola, the best thing to do is fight them and avoid a DUI in the first place, this way you’re in a better position to protect your current job and future employment opportunities. To schedule a case evaluation, contact The Morris Firm today!