For most people, the term driving under the influence (DUI) makes them think of someone who gets behind the wheel after having too many drinks at a party or a bar. However, DUI charges in Florida can also stem from the use of any substance that alters your ability to drive safely.
Although some states have separate statutes restricting driving under the influence of drugs, Florida has one statute for both drugs and alcohol. Those accused of drugged driving will face the same general penalties and charges as someone accused of driving after drinking.
Any drug that affects your driving could result in a DUI
Drugged driving offenses can result from someone using illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine or cocaine. Marijuana, including legally-used medical marijuana, can also provide law enforcement officers with grounds for DUI charges, and it has been the focus of recent enforcement efforts across Florida.
However, the legality of the drug or why you take it will have no impact on the legality of your decision to drive. Legal drugs can also put you at risk for a DUI. Many kinds of prescription medications come with warnings that they can affect your driving ability or not to take them and then use heavy machinery.
Any prescription drug that makes you slower, tired or mentally foggy could result in DUI charges. The same is true for over-the-counter (OTC) medications, e.g., cold and flu medicines. Essentially, any medication or illegal drug you take that impacts your brain and driving ability could result in a DUI charge if you get caught by the police.