It should not come as a surprise to anyone that driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous. In fact, it is so dangerous that all 50 states have agreed to make it illegal to operate a vehicle while under the effects of drugs or alcohol. Not only is drunk driving illegal under the the criminal statutes of Florida, but also it can also give rise to civil liability in certain situations in which a drunk driver causes an injury to another motorist, passenger, or pedestrian.
In Florida, a driver is per se “drunk” if they have a blood-alcohol content of .08 or greater. However, even if a driver’s blood-alcohol content is below that amount, they may still be in violation of the State’s ban on intoxicated driving if they have any quantity of alcohol in their system such that their “normal facilities are impaired.” This means that a driver can be considered under the influence even if they do not have a blood-alcohol content of .08 or greater. This same analysis applies to the use of prescription drugs. If a driver is impaired by the use of a prescription drug, they may still be found to have been intoxicated under the law.
This is important for those who have been injured by a driver whom they suspect was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The negligence laws of Florida allow for injured accident victims to seek compensation from those who are responsible for their injuries. However, before an injured party is entitled to compensation, that party must first prove that the other driver was negligent in the operation of their vehicle. One way to do this is to show that they were legally “drunk” or otherwise intoxicated at the time of the accident, and that their intoxication caused the accident.