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DUI » Drugs & DUI » Prescription Drug DUI

Prescription Drug DUI

Challenging DUI Charges in Tampa, FL

Prescription drugs are an area of growing concern in regard to DUI charges in Florida and nationwide. With both legal and illegal prescription drug use at an all-time high, the chances of a driver being pulled over and arrested for being "under the influence" of a prescription drug are far greater. These cases present their own complexities and may prove more difficult for the prosecuting attorney to prove. With extensive experience in challenging DUI-related evidence, along with our skill in handling drug crime cases, our legal team works to aggressively dispute each client's charges. In fact, you may be surprised to find that our firm can recognize opportunities to challenge your charges where other less experienced attorneys would only see failure.

Debunking Myths About Prescription Drug DUI

  • You can't be arrested for driving under the influence of prescriptions because you were given them legally. Actually, you can. The law does state that the driver cannot be impaired by alcohol and / or drugs, and while prescription drugs are legal – so is alcohol. If you use irresponsibly or if you use in excess and get behind the wheel while impaired, it is considered a criminal offense.
  • I can only get arrested if I am driving a car. Not true. You could face criminal charges if you are driving a motorcycle, a boat and, in some cases, you may even be criminally charged for making your way around town on a bicycle. It just depends on the circumstances.
  • Medications will not impact my ability to drive. They absolutely can! Especially if you are taking multiple medications, they may have severe interactions which could result in drowsiness, fatigue and confusion – which can lead to impair driving. Unfortunately, not every arrest means the driver was actually impaired. In some cases, a diabetic reaction may mimic similar symptoms, leading to a mistaken arrest.
  • If my engine isn't turned on, I'm not in danger of being arrested. There are actually some instances where a police officer may arrest you for being drunk behind the wheel – even when parked. If attempting to sleep the effects off, and you have nowhere else to go, it is better to move into the passenger seat or backseat.

Challenges of Prosecuting Drug DUI Cases

What makes prescription drug DUI cases more difficult to prosecute? With alcohol-related DUI cases, there is somewhat of an established system to prove the presence and level of alcohol in a driver's blood. This is accomplished with a breath test or blood test. Field sobriety tests were also developed with alcohol-related intoxication in mind. With prescription drugs, it may be more difficult to ascertain what level or amount of a substance would impair a driver's abilities. Unlike DUI involving alcohol, where a driver may face charges for having a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or greater, there is no set limit for prescription drugs. The prosecuting attorney may therefore have to rely more heavily upon evidence and the arresting officer's testimony regarding the defendant's driving behavior and impaired mental/physical abilities.

Contact a drugged driving lawyer in Tampa to discuss your case.

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