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:
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).