Quite a few states separate drugged driving from driving under the influence of alcohol into separate offenses. Florida has one blanket statute that applies to all forms of impaired driving. The penalties and charges are the same regardless of whether someone gets behind the wheel with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or while under the influence of street drugs.
However, prohibited or banned drugs like methamphetamine or cocaine are not the only drugs that can result in a drugged driving charge in Florida. Many people feel shocked when they learn that the prescription medication they have taken for years leaves them vulnerable to legal charges.
If the drug can impact your driving, you can’t take it before getting behind the wheel
Obviously, sedatives, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants and opioid painkillers all create significant risks for people operating heavy machinery, including motor vehicles. Most of these drugs already come with a warning on them that they may cause drowsiness and that users should not operate heavy machinery or drive after taking the drug.
Still, people respond differently to different medications, which is why there is a much more comprehensive list of potentially dangerous medications that people should be aware of before they get behind the wheel while under the influence of that medication. According to the Food and Drug Administration (DEA), anxiety medication, anti-seizure medication psychiatric drugs including antipsychotics and antidepressants, stimulants, medications for diarrhea, cold medication and motion sickness medication can all potentially lead to impaired driving and criminal charges.