Prescription Drugs Can Also Lead to a DUI Charge in Pensacola, FL
Though many of us may be familiar with alcohol-related DUI charges, a broad range of substances can impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Prescription drugs are no exception.
Only an experienced DUI drug crime attorney, Pensacola, FL will tell you that regardless of whether or not your doctor prescribed a medication, driving under the influence of prescription drugs known to cause impairment is punishable in the state of Florida.
Features of a DUI Offense in Pensacola
A person must have done with following to be charged with and/or a warrant an arrest in a DUI/DWI offense:
- Driven a vehicle (actual physical control of the vehicle) on a public roadway
- Drive under the influence of alcohol or any legal or controlled substances.
According to law, driving “under the influence” implies that the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely was hindered substantially by alcohol, a drug, or both.
Charges Applicable for Impaired Driving Due to Legal Drugs in Pensacola
Several prescription and over-the-counter medications affect a person’s coordination, motor skills, and more even after taking no more than the prescribed dosage. Here are a few side effects of these drugs that can significantly impact your driving ability:
- Blurry vision
- Loss of consciousness
- Failure to focus or pay attention
Prescription drugs frequently associated with driver impairment
The following drugs can cause driver impairment. Some of these are prescription-only and others may be available in over-the-counter forms:
Treatments for anxiety disorders. Valium, Alprazolam or Xanax produce serious impairment and can significantly increase driver reaction times.
Cold medicine and antihistamines. Cold medications – including decongestants – can cause lethargy, anxiety and slower reaction time on the road.
Pain killers. Though Hydrocodone, OxyContin and other opioids may fight pain effectively, they can also impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
Police evaluation of impairment
If you are pulled over and the police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence, he or she may first request a Breathalyzer test to determine whether alcohol is involved. The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08. Even if you pass this test, law enforcement officers may take other steps to demonstrate that you are under the influence.
Field sobriety tests are a common tool used to determine impairment: this 3-part examination tests driver balance, motor abilities, and attention level. In some cases, a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) may be called to the scene to analyze driver impairment. Urine tests may also be used to determine whether any drugs – prescription or otherwise – are present in your system.
Accused of driving under the influence?
If so, you need legal counsel. The techniques used for determining probable cause in DUI arrests are imperfect. It is important to consult an experienced DUI attorney for vital feedback, support and representation.
Reach Out to Our Expert Pensacola DUI Lawyer Now
Don’t let a DUI charge destroy your life. Contact our DUI drug crime attorney for effective and dependable legal counsel and help. Call us today for a free consultation. We will fight proactively and aggressively for your cause. Reach us at (850) 457-6002 to schedule a free consultation.