Florida drivers should know that a drug does not need to be illegal to affect you behind the wheel. You can become impaired with the use of both prescription and over-the-counter medication, as well as alcohol and other drugs. That means you can be convicted of driving under the influence no matter what type of drug or medication you may use and despite using it legally.
FindLaw explains that the point to ponder is whether your driving is impaired. If so, you should not drive. In general, a DUI arrest can be made of anyone in control of a vehicle on a public road who is under the influence at the same time. Being “influenced” by a drug or alcohol simply means your ability to drive and make driving decisions is lessened, or impaired.
Medication with the possibility of making you drowsy or otherwise impaired is typically marked with warnings on the label to alert you to the hazard. Prescription, OTC and illegal drugs and alcohol, whether taken individually or as a mixture can affect your motor skills perception and more. General side effects that are most common include:
- Blurred vision
- Vertigo and nausea
- Sleepiness and fainting
- Slowed reaction and motor skills
- Lacking the ability to focus
You may think alcohol is worse than OTC and prescription medications, but the side effects are the same. Each driver may be affected differently by each drug or type of drug. However, any one of the symptoms listed can lead to poor judgment and hazardous driving with the potential of ending in a crash.
In addition to medication, there are several other, legal substances that can impair your driving. Kombucha, a fermented tea is one. Herbal supplements, such as ginseng, can also affect you. Even poppyseed, a popular ingredient in some muffins and bagels, has opiates that can affect you.
This article on prescription drugs and DUI is for information purposes. You should not consider it to be legal advice.