Prescription drug use could lead to a DUI
If you are found to be driving while under the influence of prescription medication in Florida, you could be charged with DUI. This is because doing so may make it harder to maintain your lane, drive at a safe speed or otherwise operate a motor vehicle properly.
You could be charged even if the prescription was valid
It’s important to note that you can still be charged with driving under the influence even if you were taking medication as directed by your doctor. Let’s say that you take a pill each day to counter severe allergy symptoms. Let’s also assume that it caused you to fall asleep while driving to work.
In such a scenario, you might be charged with impaired driving because it’s your responsibility to know ahead of time about any potential side effects. A doctor or pharmacist will likely let you know about these side effects prior to letting you take any type of medication. There may also be a warning on the box or bottle that it comes in as it relates to operating heavy machinery after using it.
What if authorities find prescription medication that isn’t yours?
If authorities find medication in your vehicle that isn’t yours, there is a chance that you could be charged with possession of a controlled substance. As a general rule, it’s against the law to be in possession of prescription medication that does not belong to you even if you aren’t using it.
A conviction for driving under the influence of prescription medication may result in significant penalties such as jail time, a fine or a loss of driving privileges. It may be possible to cast doubt on the charge in court in an effort to have it reduced or dismissed.