DUI and Xanax

You understand that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime, but were your aware prescriptions are also included in DUI charges? Being under the influence of certain prescriptions while driving can result in criminal charges such as Xanax. The reason for this is because of the recent trend in people using Xanax and other benzodiazepines recreationally. 

Taking copious amounts of Xanax or mixing it with other substances can result in a euphoric feeling. Operating a vehicle after using Xanax could mean serious DUI charges. If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI on Xanax, then it’s imperative you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney. 

Defense Attorney Explains DUI and Xanax in West Palm Beach, FL

Driving under the influence of certain prescription substances such as Xanax can lead to charges. Even if the prescription was lawfully given you could still face expensive fines and even time in jail. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, then call Meltzer & Bell, P.A..

Our attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. have a thorough understanding of DUI laws in Florida. We create effective and efficient defenses for our client and promise to do everything in our power to reduce or dismiss their charges. Call now at (561) 557-8686 to set up a free consultation.

Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people throughout the greater West Palm Beach area including Delray Beach, Wellington, and Boca Raton. 

Overview of DUI and Xanax in FL

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What is Xanax and How is it Addictive?

Alprazolam, sold under the name as Xanax, is a short-acting benzodiazepine. It’s usually prescribed for people struggling with anxiety or panic disorders. The drug functions by increasing the intake of certain neurotransmitters such as the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GAD) to the brain and spinal cord. The drug can result in a sedative and hypnotic feeling in the user.

Xanax was patented in 1971 and approved for medical use in the eighties. Now, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention believe that one in every five prescribed users consume Xanax for recreational reasons. Because of its sleepy and calming effect, many people who are prescribed to the drug overuse it to battle intense anxiety.

This cycle of constantly suppressing the anxiety can lead to serious withdrawal and rebound symptoms. It can cause a prescribed patient to use the drug up to 20 times a day. In some cases, Xanax withdrawal can even lead to seizures. These factors and more can push the prescribed patient into addiction and taking a surplus of Xanax before hitting the road.

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Can A Breathalyzer Detect Xanax?

Most breathalyzers and intoxilyzers cannot pick up a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading with Xanax. However, this doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Police officers only need probable cause that you’re DUI to arrest you. This means if an officer has a reasonable enough suspicion that your mental and physical capabilities are impaired, then you could be arrested.

Probable cause can range depending on the situation. Certain factors such as swerving, speeding or breaking traffic laws could be seen as probable cause of your intoxication. In some cases, officers will simply assess a person’s physical appearance to see if they’re under the influence. They look for signs such as dilated pupils, slurred speech or loss of balance. In addition, they may ask you to undergo field sobriety tests to determine your impairment level. 

So, although most breathalyzers can’t detect Xanax it doesn’t mean you won’t be charged. However, most attorneys would suggest you refuse to submit to breathalyzer or field sobriety tests if you’re under the influence of Xanax and driving. A refusal will mean your license will be suspended for one year, but the chance of the device reading an .08 BAC score is too great and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

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Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Xanax in Fl

In Florida, the penalties for driving under the influence are incredibly harsh. The consequences for DUI involving Xanax are exactly the same as DUI with alcohol. Listed below are the statutory penalties for driving under the influence in Florida. 

A first offense DUI conviction can result in:

  • Up to six months in jail;
  • Up to 50 hours of community Service;
  • Vehicle impoundment;
  • Mandatory drug or alcohol counseling;
  • License suspension; and
  • A possible fine up to $1,000. 

A second DUI offense can result in:

  • Up to nine months in jail;
  • Up to 50 hours of community Service;
  • Vehicle impoundment;
  • Mandatory drug or alcohol counseling;
  • License suspension; and
  • Possible fine between $1,000 and $2,000.

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Additional Resources

What is Xanax? – Visit the official website for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which is an organization that provides resources for people struggling with addiction and mental illness. Access the site to learn more about substance abuse statistics, programs and how to obtain grants.

Florida DUI Statutes – Visit the official website for Online Sunshine and learn more about Florida’s laws and legislation. Access the site to learn the penalties, elements, and diversion programs available for DUI offenders in Florida.

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Xanax DUI Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County, FL

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, we suggest you gain legal representation. To find an attorney whose experienced and passionate about their practice, contact the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. We have the resources and defensive techniques needed to fight for your rights in court. 

You can contact us at (561) 557-8686 to set up you first consultation free. During your appointment, we can answer your questions and present you with viable legal options. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. accepts clients throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Wellington and Boca Raton.

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  • ...A long weekend vacation in Palm Beach resulted in the potential for serious consequences that could have set me back in unimaginative ways. M+B was a truly incredible legal advocate and was always accessible within minutes to answer questions and discuss the progress of the case within the system - truly remarkable. I could not have retained better legal representation in my case in Palm Beach County.

  • I just had to commend you on the outstanding job you did on behalf of your client in court yesterday. If my clients were ever to ask me if I know of a good DUI defense attorney, I know to whom I can refer them!

  • I was facing hard prison time and punishment. [Larry] did everything to pull strings and get me into rehab. After meeting with many therapists I finally got one to diagnose me successfully with Bipolar. Thanks to Larry I have been sober since 6/19/09. My health is great and my family life is amazing. It's because he saw something in me and my family that I wasn't just an alcoholic there was something that told me it was something else.

  • I was charged with a felony and facing the scary thought of losing my job, but thank you Attorney Steven Bell for helping me. Now I’m able to keep my job and take care of my family. I am truly amazed by your service, and you for understanding what I have to deal with. To me I’m very impressed by way you handled my case and was here to listen and make things OK!

  • Mr. Steven Bell, Words cant explain how thankful I am for you and your firm. I was facing felony charges and even looking at doing 5 years in jail! Not only did you fight for me, you got my case dismissed and dropped. For that, I don't have words to say “thank you” you were always kind and believed in me. You looked for every opportunity and you won! Thank you for being my guardian angel in disguise and steering me in the right direction. You are forever my “too go guy” thank you soooo much!

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