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12/30/13: Driving while taking prescription medications in Fort Myers, Naples and Port Charlotte

If you are taking your legally prescribed medications while driving in Fort Myers, Naples, or Port Charlotte you can be arrested for DUI if a police officer believes you are intoxicated. Even if you are taking your medication in the exact amount and dosage as prescribed by your doctor you can still be arrested for DUI. 

Karen Macchione, a woman in the Tampa Bay area, was recently sentenced to 15 years in prison in connection to a 2011 car accident she was involved in. Ms. Macchione was driving on the highway in Hernando County when her vehicle went into a closed lane and she struck and killed a worker who was painting lane markers. Ms. Macchione was found to have Methadone in her system. Ms Macchione claimed that she was not intoxicated and a ringing cell phone caused the crash. Florida Highway Patrol Officers testified that Ms. Macchione’s speech was slurred and she appeared to be having trouble staying awake. Ms. Macchione was convicted of DUI Manslaughter and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

If Ms. Macchione was legally prescribed the methadone found in her system and she took the exact amount prescibed by her doctor she could still be convicted of DUI Manslaughter. Taking the correct amount of a legally prescribed medicine can still render a driver legally intoxicated for the purposes of operating a motor vehicle. When driving on the roads of Fort Myers, Naples and Port Charlotte be very careful and take appropriate precautions if you have taken any prescription medications that may alter your driving ability. If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI based upon alleged alcohol or drug use contact a lawyer from Viacava & Cantor for a free consultation.