In Florida, The criminal offense of driving under the influence is not reserved for just alcohol and illegal drugs. Prescription drugs DUIs are very common in Florida, and occur when the driver is under the influence of a prescription drug (if it's a controlled substance). Many people do not know that driving under the influence of a prescribed controlled substance is illegal.
For example, let's say a doctor prescribes you valium for anxiety on Monday. On Tuesday, you wake up in the morning, and take your prescribed dose and then get behind the wheel to drive to work. An officer pulls you over for speeding. He notices that you're tired, sluggish and that your speech is slurred. He asks you if you have a taken any drugs or medication, and you honestly tell him that you have taken your prescribed valium. He asks you to do some field sobriety exercises, and is not satisfied with your performance. He arrests you for DUI. You may be asking yourself, how did this happen? A police officer can arrest you even if you were prescribed the medication.
The truth is that valium is one of many controlled substances. If the officer believes that you are under the influence of xanax, valium, oxycodone or number of other substances then he can arrest you for DUI. The fact that the medication was legally prescribed by your doctor is completely irrelevant. Prescription drug DUIs carry the same penalties as DUIs for alcohol or illegal substances. Like DUI charges for alcohol and illegal substances, a prescription drug DUI charge can be defended through fourth amendment challenges, successful cross-examination of the arresting officer, motions in limine and by asserting other legal defenses. We represent clients who have been arrested for DUI in Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale and surrounding cities.
Common Prescription Controlled Substances:
- Codeine – Opiate used for pain relief.
- Oxycodone – Opioid used for pain relief. Percocet.
- Amphetamine – Central nervous system stimulant. Adderall, Dextroamphetamine.
- Alprazolam – Benzodiazepine used for panic attacks and anxiety disorders. Xanax.
- Clonazepam – Benzodiazepine used for seizures, panic attacks and anxiety disorders. Klonopin.
- Diazepam – Benzodiazepine used for anxiety, muscle spasms and seizures. Valium.
If you have been arrested for a prescription drug DUI, contact our lawyers from Bottari & Doyle at 561-588-2781 for a free consultation.