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The crime of driving under the influence (DUI) is frequently associated with alcoholic beverages because police officers have multiple ways to test a suspect’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, motorists in Florida may also face DUI charges if they are suspected of operating motor vehicles while under the influence of marijuana or other drugs.
Several companies across the country are even developing mobile testing devices to measure THC in a person’s breath. Thankfully, Florida does not yet have a “per se” version of driving under the influence of marijuana, although the Florida legislature has considered it in the past. Nevertheless, officers in the field can allege that a driver appears to be impaired by recently consumed marijuana. Additionally, THC will sometimes show up in a blood or urine test.
The possible penalties for a conviction for this criminal offense are just as serious as a DUI involving alcohol, but cases involving alleged offenders charged with driving while high are much more complex. In many cases, drivers can be placed under arrest despite the fact that previous marijuana use from days or weeks before they drove in no way impaired their abilities to operate automobiles.
If you were recently arrested in Northern Florida and charged with a cannabis-related DUI offense, it is critical that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. Pumphrey Law aggressively defends clients in Leon County and surrounding areas such as Bay County, Franklin County, Gadsden County, Jefferson County, Liberty County, Wakulla County.
Don Pumphrey, Jr. and his firm have nearly a quarter-century of combined legal experience, and our Tallahassee DUI marijuana attorneys are licensed to practice in all Florida state courts. The attorneys will provide a thorough evaluation of your case when you call (850) 681-7777 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Florida Statute § 316.193 states that a person is guilty of DUI if he or she is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle and is under the influence of any controlled substance when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired. Marijuana is considered a controlled substance under Florida law.
An alleged offender who is suspected of DUI may submit to a breath test in which he or she blows a 0.00 reading, but could still be placed under arrest for a marijuana-related DUI if the police officer believes the individual’s abilities were impaired by marijuana. Law enforcement may attempt to justify these arrests in the following situations:
In some jurisdictions, police officers may call for the assistance of a drug recognition expert (DRE). A DRE is an officer who has been trained and certified to evaluate suspects and determine whether they are impaired and what type of drug(s) is/are causing the impairment.
A DRE may perform any number of tests on an alleged offender, including:
A person who has been arrested for a cannabis-related DUI faces very harsh consequences if he or she is convicted of this crime. The possible punishments that accompany a conviction for driving while high increase with repeat offenses, meaning that previous arrests for alcohol-related DUIs will count against alleged offenders in these cases. The maximum penalties include:
It is critical for people to understand that there may be any one of a number of possible defenses that can results in cannabis-related DUI charges being significantly reduced or completely dismissed. Some examples include, but are not limited to:
Are you facing criminal DUI charges for allegedly driving while high? Pumphrey Law can aggressively fight for the most favorable outcome to your case.
Our Tallahassee DUI marijuana attorneys represent clients throughout Leon County as well as many surrounding communities such as Bristol, Callaway, Chattahoochee, Lynn Haven, Monticello, Panama City, Parker, Quincy, Saint Marks, Springfield, and several others.
We can review your case during a free consultation as soon as you call (850) 681-7777 today.
This article was last updated on Tuesday, January 29, 2019.
Attorney Don Pumphrey, Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney. Don has achieved over 100 not guilty verdicts at trial and over 2,000 dismissals.
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