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Nicoletti Walker Law Group Nov. 4, 2015

Although driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is well-publicized and cautioned against in our society, driving under the influence of certain drugs has been less publicized and thus less understood, potentially placing people in danger on the streets.

In Florida, a drug known as “flakka” is becoming increasingly popular, often with devastating consequences. Composed of white crystal chunks, the drug has effects similar to cocaine, but much more dangerous; in part because it is difficult to control the dosage. A small amount can make all the difference between simply getting high and actually dying. Sadly, a small overdose can also lead to violent behavior, placing others at risk, particularly pedestrians who may be in the path of someone driving under the influence.

Why Florida?

No one seems to understand why Florida has been especially hard hit, but there have been at least three or four hospitalizations per day due to the drug in Broward County alone. And although a typical high can last one or more hours, the neurological effects can be permanent. In addition, the drug is known to take its toll on the kidneys, placing some people on dialysis for the rest of their lives.

Why So Rampant?

Surprisingly, this highly dangerous drug is also not technically illegal just yet; although the Drug Enforcement Administration has placed a temporary ban on flakka regarding human consumption, drug makers have simply exploited this loophole by placing a label on it indicating that it is not fit for human consumption. It could take years to gather the data necessary to enact a federal ban. This could have serious implications on the safety of everyday citizens in the sunshine state.

Florida Law Regarding Driving ‘Drugged’

Regardless of the amount of focus that there has been on drunk driving, state law (as well as cases related to negligence and auto accident litigation) does not distinguish between driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or any chemical substance regulated by state law. Thus people can face charges for driving under the influence if there is any amount of drug in the blood or urine in some circumstances.

Contact an Attorney for Help

According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, close to 10 million people over the age of 12 reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that more than 22 percent of drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs.

Attorney Mike Walker has the knowledge and experience gained from years of experience negotiating and litigating successful personal injury settlements and verdicts for victims of Clearwater car accidents, including accidents caused by drunk and/or drugged drivers. Call for a consultation with attorney Mike Walker, or contact the office online to schedule an appointment.