Drugged Driving in FloridaTampa Bay Legal News
In the state of Florida, like every other state, operating any motor vehicle while you are under the influence of a controlled substance is against the law. Unfortunately, not every driver is cognizant of the fact that driving under the influence of drugs that were legitimately prescribed by a physician could potentially bring about the same consequences faced by drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and/or illegal drugs.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has estimated that upwards of 1,300 drug-related car accidents, during which 338 people died, took place on Florida roadways in 2017. These figures do not include crashes where the driver was under the influence of both alcohol and drugs.
Impact Not Thoroughly Researched
Law enforcement officers frequently struggle to accurately identify drivers who are under the influence of drugs a doctor has prescribed for them. Whether the data is too expensive or too challenging to identify and monitor, because drunk drivers constantly require attention, or due to the fact that laws governing impaired drivers do not typically differentiate between classes of drugs, distinguishing between drivers under the influence of illegal and legal drugs can be complicated. Additionally, some drivers may be taking prescription drugs that belong to somebody else, making their otherwise legal use, illegal.
Drugged Driving in Florida
The phrases “impaired driving” or “driving under the influence” make most people think of drunk drivers and although drinking and driving is more common than drugged driving in Florida and throughout the country, a drugged driver will incur the same penalties as drunk driving under Florida law, even if that person was under the influence of their own prescription medication.
Florida law states that a driver who is guilty of driving under the influence, including alcohol, legal and illegal drugs, can be penalized with things such as jail time and hefty fines.
It also states that even if driver impairment is caused by a legal prescription, the driver is still illegally operating a vehicle if they get behind the wheel after consuming prescription drugs that impair their ability to hear, see, judge time, judge distance, walk, and more. If a driver determined to be drug-impaired causes a fatality or an accident while they are driving, a court could also declare them negligent and liable for civil damages.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Tampa Bay
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.
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.