This is an unfortunately a situation playing out on the streets and roads of Hillsborough and Pinellas County every day. Countless drivers from St. Petersburg to Clearwater to Tampa have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence despite consuming no alcohol and only taking their prescriptions, as dictated by a medical doctor. Drivers have been charged with driving under the influence for taking prescription medications, including, but not limited to Xanax, Oxycodone, Percocet, Oxycontin, Vicodin and Morphine. While these Pinellas and Hillsborough drivers may have valid prescriptions, law enforcement simply ignores them and still arrests them.
Florida Statute Section 316.193 which governs driving under the influence specifically lists that a person “is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, which affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired.” For your convenience, we have attached a link to the entire Florida Statute governing driving under the influence.
Florida Chapter 893 is also titled “Drug Abuse Prevention and Control.” Unfortunately, the majority of prescription medications are also listed substances within this Chapter. This gives Tampa and St. Petersburg area law enforcement the justification for being able to stop and arrest Hillsborough and Pinellas drivers for driving under the influence despite no evidence of alcohol. Additionally, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office has proven to be very aggressive in investigating and arresting driving under the influence charges involving prescription pills or illegal drugs.
Unfortunately, as the local metro area, including Brandon, Bradenton, Largo, New Port Richey and Clearwater, continues to be nationally known for abusing prescription pain pill, drivers will continue to be arrested and prosecuted for driving under the influence for properly taking their prescription pills. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, despite only taking their prescription medication, contact the Tampa DUI attorneys of Hackworth Law for your free consultation. It is important to contact us as soon as possible, so that we may begin gathering the required evidence to properly, effectively and efficiently defend your claim.