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DUI and Diazepine

It’s no secret that Florida has stringent DUI laws, but did you know you could be arrested for driving under the influence of certain medications? Consuming some prescriptions before driving such as benzodiazepines can result in driving under the influence charges. The reason for this is benzodiazepines and other prescriptions being abused for a recreational purpose.

Benzodiazepines are rarely used solely for drug abuse and usually are combined with other drugs to increase the effect. Mixing the right prescriptions can result in the user feeling a sense of euphoria and lead to addiction. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI on diazepine, then it’s imperative you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

DUI Attorney Discusses Benzodiazepines in West Palm Beach, FL

The dangers of benzodiazepine addiction are real, but for many prescription holders the medication is exclusively for anxiety. They shouldn’t be arrested for driving under the influence and using their medication as directed. If you or someone you know was arrested for DUI, then it’s crucial you contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A..

Our attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. understand the full scope of DUI laws, especially pertaining prescriptions. We will utilize our knowledge and resources to help build a sturdy defense for you. Call us now at (561) 557-8686 to schedule your first consultation free. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington and Boca Raton.

Overview of DUI and Diazepines in FL

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What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines, often referred to as “benzos,” is a class of psychoactive drug commonly prescribed to treat extreme anxiety. Among the medical community, benzodiazepines are generally safe and effective for short-term use. The drug relieves anxiety by reducing the number of neurotransmitters such as gamma-aminobutyric acid to the brain and spinal cord.

However, using them for a long period of time or recreationally can lead to troubling side effects and issues with addiction. Some users mix benzodiazepines with certain opioids to obtain an intense high. Excessive use can increase the risk of addiction and the appearance of withdrawal symptoms such as sedation, weakness, depression and memory impairment.

There are many kinds of benzodiazepines on the medical market. Listed below are some commonly prescribed benzodiazepines that can cause chemical dependency.

  • Diazepam (Valium);
  • Tranxene;
  • Oxazepam (Serax);
  • Lorazepam (Ativan);
  • Alprazolam (Xanax);
  • Estazolam (Prosom);
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium); and
  • Flurazepam (Dalmane)

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Penalties for DUI on Benzodiazepines

You might think it’s unlikely you’ll be arrested while on your benzodiazepine, but you may be mistaken. Even though it’s unlikely the benzodiazepine by itself will trigger an over .08 BAC reading you can still be arrested if you appear to be inebriated. Combining benzodiazepines with other substances, however, is much more likely to give an above .08 BAC reading.

The penalties are the same for DUI if you are under the influence of benzodiazepines or any other prescription. The following are the statutory penalties for DUI in Florida:

  • Minimum Fine of $500 and a maximum fine of no more than $1,000;
  • Driver's license revocation for a minimum of 6 months;
  • Ten-day impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle used;
  • Completion of a 12-hour DUI Substance Abuse Course;
  • Completion of a psychosocial evaluation to determine if treatment is needed;
  • Completion of any recommended substance abuse treatment;
  • 50 hours of community service; and
  • Up to six months in jail

Your penalties could be enhanced even further if you had a child passenger during the offense or your reading was at or over .15 BAC. The penalties for aggravated DUI include:

  • Up to nine months in jail; and
  • Minimum Fine of $1,000 and a Maximum fine of no more than $2,000.
  • Mandatory placement of an ignition interlock device (IID) upon all vehicles, used, owned, or routinely operated by the person convicted for no less than 6 months. The installation of the interlock device will be at the expense of the offender.

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Additional Resources

Florida's Impaired Driving Problem – Visit the website of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), and see an infogram regarding Florida's DUIs and DWIs. See different research and data surrounding the Florida Impaired Driving Coalition's (FDIC) statistics. View impaired driving costs, who is a part of the coalition, and proposed solutions to decreasing drunk driving in Florida.

DUI Laws in Florida – Visit the official website for the Florida Statutes to learn more about driving under the influence laws. Access the site to learn more regarding driving under the influence, the penalties, diversion programs and other important information.

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DUI Diazepine Defense Attorney in Palm Beach County, FL

Have you been arrested for DUI while on benzodiazepines? If so, we urge you to gain trusted legal representation with Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Our experienced attorneys have what it takes to fight your charges. We are familiar with all types of DUI and aggravated DUI law and have taken on clients accused of DUI for years.

To learn more about our practice and your legal options call (561) 557-8686. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. We will do whatever’s possible to help you with your case. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people throughout the greater West Palm Beach area including Boca Raton and Wellington.

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