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Drugged Driving

According to Florida law, driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) is the criminal offense a person can be charged with for driving or being within the ability to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any chemical or controlled substance.

Drugged driving can also encompass cases where the driver has allegedly consumed both alcoholic beverages and an illicit drug that in combination, can impair the driver’s normal faculties. The penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs are essentially the same. However, given that certain controlled substances are illegal, a person accused of DUID can also be charged with additional drug offenses.

Unlike a standard DUI case, prosecutors can have a challenging time proving impairment from drugs in DUID cases. Although limits exist to presume alcohol impairment under Florida law, such limits in drug cases are not scientifically justified because levels of impairment from drugs cannot be so easily predicted or presumed. This can also become tricky when dealing with prescription medication. For any allegations of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, consider hiring a defense attorney to represent your case.

Tallahassee DUID Defense Attorney

For suspected drugged driving cases, the incriminating evidence often hinges on the results of a blood or urine test, or from the testimony of a Drug Recognition Expert. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney for this type of criminal charge is critical. The lawyers at Pumphrey Law Firm understand the importance of contesting scientific evidence in suspected DUID cases, which can lead to potential pre-trial negotiations.

Our criminal defense firm represents clients in Tallahassee and throughout the Florida Panhandle. Pumphrey Law can also represent students at local colleges and universities in DUI cases, including those at Florida State University and Florida A&M University. The resulting implications of a drugged driving conviction can severely impact your future. Call (850) 681-7777 to discuss the details surrounding your case.

Information About DUID Laws in Florida

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Florida’s Laws for DUID

The law for drugged driving cases is the same as a standard DUI case. Codified under Florida Statute Section 316.193(1)(a), a person is guilty of DUID if they are caught operating or being considered in actual physical control of a vehicle when they are under the influence of alcohol or any substance controlled under Chapter 893.

In Florida DUID cases, the issue is whether the driver’s normal facilities were impaired. The term “normal facilities” can include the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies and, in general, normally perform the many mental and physical activities of daily life.

After getting arrested for a suspected DUID where the officer has reasonable cause to believe the driver is under the influence of any chemical or controlled substance, the officer can request that the suspect submit a DUI chemical test in the form of a urine or blood test. Blood tests typically are more accurate in determining if a driver was under the influence of drugs. The results of urine tests can be highly inflated, which a defense attorney can argue on your behalf if you are subjected to a urine test.

If the driver fails to submit to DUID testing, or their consent is withdrawn, they can face enhanced administrative penalties. There is an automatic one-year driver’s license suspension for the first refusal to submit to a chemical test, or an 18-month suspension for a second or subsequent refusal. A second refusal to submit DUID testing is also considered a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, the defendant can face up to $1,000 in fines and up to one year in jail. To find out more, read our page on DUI Test Refusals.

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Substances Involved in Drugged Driving Cases

Law enforcement officers are trained to look for impairment caused by different classes of drugs that may cause impaired driving. The controlled substances most found in DUID cases include, but are not limited to:

  • Marijuana;
  • Heroin;
  • Cocaine;
  • MDMA;
  • LSD;
  • Prescription pills, such as Oxycontin, Xanax or Valium;
  • Over-the-counter medications.

To review the various substances included in Florida’s Drug Schedule along with the additional drug offenses a person in Florida can be charged with, read our informational page on Drug Charges.  

When it comes to suspected drug driving cases, the problems with testing for these controlled substances can vary widely. For example, tests may reveal traces of a drug, but it cannot determine when or how much of it was ingested. Both can be critical when determining if a person was in fact under the influence while driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tallahassee can file a motion to suppress or exclude the results of any blood or urine test. Contact Pumphrey Law Firm to represent your drugged driving case.

Penalties for Drugged Driving

Getting accused of a drugged driving offense in the Florida Panhandle can come with a lengthy list of penalties. Florida’s DUI Statute provides that a first offense for a DUI or DUID is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor. On its own, a conviction for a first-degree misdemeanor can result in fines between $500 up to $1,000, and up to six months in jail. Additionally, a person accused of a first drugged driving offense can face up to 50 hours of community service and have their vehicle impounded for a 10-day period.

The penalties for each additional DUID offense are listed as follows:

  • Second DUID offense penalties – Fines between $1,000 and $2,000 and imprisonment for up to 9 months. Includes a mandatory one-year probation, 50 hours of community service, vehicle impounded for a 10-day period, mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) installment, required psychosocial evaluation, and a license suspension for 180 days up to one year.
  • Third DUID offense penalties (10 Years Outside of Second Conviction) – Fines between $2,000 and $5,000 and imprisonment for up to one year. Includes a mandatory one-year probation, 50 hours of community service, vehicle impoundment for a 90-day period, mandatory IID installment, required psychosocial evaluation, and a license suspension for one year.
  • Third DUID offense penalties (Within 10 Years of Second Conviction) – Minimum fine of $2,000 up to $5,000 and imprisonment up to five years. Includes a mandatory one-year probation, 50 hours of community service, vehicle impoundment for a 90-day period, mandatory IID installation, required psychosocial evaluation, and a mandatory license suspension for 10 years.
  • Fourth or subsequent DUID offense penalties – Classified as a third-degree felony meaning a conviction carries up to $5,000 in fines and up to 5 years in prison. Also includes the penalties provided for a third offense.

Important: Since this is a crime that deals with substances that are already considered illegal, a person caught driving under the influence of drugs can face additional charges, such as Possession of a Controlled Substance. Depending on the amount allegedly found on the defendant, they could be charged with more severe offenses including:

Any type of drug offense should be taken very seriously by hiring an experienced controlled substances defense lawyer.

Medical Marijuana and Drugged Driving

Despite medical marijuana becoming legal for certain individuals in Florida, it is still unlawful to operate a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance. Marijuana is still technically a Schedule I substance under both the Federal and State Drug Schedules. Therefore, a police officer who suspects you are driving while high can attempt to arrest you for DUID. If you have a medical marijuana card, a defense attorney can argue that your normal faculties were not impaired and that you lawfully possessed the medical marijuana.

Contact Pumphrey Law Firm if you have questions regarding your medical marijuana status and an alleged DUID offense.

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Additional Resources on DUID

NORML on Florida’s Drugged Driving Laws – Read more about drugged driving from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws with information on the statutory language of the DUI statutes, the application of implied consent laws, penalties, and recent case law.

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Finding A DUID Defense Lawyer in Tallahassee

If you have been charged with DUID in Leon County or any of the surrounding areas of North Florida, contact an aggressive Tallahassee DUI defense attorney. The lawyers with Pumphrey Law Firm have a deep understanding of how Florida prosecutors will attempt to convict people of driving on drugs. We can strategize a plan for defense while making sure your rights are protected throughout all legal procedures. Contact Pumphrey Law today for a free consultation by calling (850) 681-7777 to learn how our attorneys fight these cases.

Page Updated on March 19, 2024

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