Driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated is a serious criminal offense that a person commits when driving a motor vehicle. While every state has laws concerning DUI charges, each state has variations within its laws.
According to the Florida Department of Transportation, driving under the influence occurs anytime a person gets behind the wheel when he or she is under the influence of alcohol or drugs that alter his or her perception.
The legal explanation
According to the Florida Statutes, a person commits a DUI and is liable under the law for driving while intoxicated if he or she has a blood alcohol level over 0.08%. It also applies to anyone driving while using chemical substances other than alcohol that alter his or her mental and physical abilities to safely operate a motor vehicle. However, it is more difficult to prove a DUI for drugs.
Under the influence of drugs
There is no limit set for drugs as there is for alcohol because testing does not exist that can produce results to show a percentage of intoxication due to drugs. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles explains that even the use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs and medication can lead to a DUI.
Medications and drugs of all types can lead to side effects that will impair a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. So, while law enforcement does not have a definitive test to know if a person is using drugs, officers can use other clues to determine impairment, such as how the person is acting and his or her ability to display proper reflexes.