Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs in FloridaTampa Bay Legal News
In Florida, similar to all other states, it is illegal to operate any kind of automobile while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Sadly, a lot of drivers are unaware of the fact that even driving under the influence of a drug that was legally prescribed to you by a doctor has the potential to cause an accident leading to the same repercussions faced by a driver under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has calculated that more than 1,300 drug-related vehicle accidents occurred on Florida roadways, causing 388 fatalities in 2017. These totals do not include accidents where the driver was determined to be under the influence of both drugs and alcohol.
Effects Not Thoroughly Studied
Police often have a difficult time trying to recognize drivers under the influence of legitimate prescription drugs. Tracking this data has proven too challenging and too costly to maintain, primarily due to the fact that the laws that govern impaired drivers do not bother to distinguish between classes of drugs. This makes learning to distinguish, and subsequently test, between drivers who take legal drugs from drivers who take illegal drugs a complex and tricky matter.
What is the Meaning of Drugged Driving in Florida?
When you use the terms “driving under the influence” and “impaired driving,” most people think of drunk drivers. While drunk driving is certainly more widespread than drugged driving, in Florida, a drugged driver will face the same punishments as drunk driving in Florida. Thanks to the inadequate research mentioned above, this also applies if the driver was under the influence of their own prescription medication.
State law says that even if a driver’s impairment is the result of a legal prescription, they are still considered to be operating a vehicle unlawfully if they drive after taking prescription drugs that impair their ability to see, hear, estimate distance, estimate time, or walk.
If a driver found to be drug-impaired causes a fatal car accident, they could be deemed negligent and held liable for damages.
As with every kind of personal injury case, the endless number of variables makes your claim unique. Someone with a case that sounds very similar to yours could end up with a very different outcome than what you should expect. This is just one of the many reasons why hiring a skilled attorney is beneficial to your Florida personal injury claim.
Contact a Tampa Car Accident Attorney Today
Your attorney will know the most thorough and efficient way of collecting vital evidence that proves you were not at fault for the accident. Establishing this fact is essential to the success of your Tampa personal injury case.
If you have sustained injuries during any kind of accident that was caused by another person’s negligence or carelessness, there is evidence out there that will substantiate your claim. A reputable personal injury attorney from Fulgencio Law will be able to help you. Call us at (813) 463-0123 to schedule your free Tampa personal injury consultation today.