When people hear the term driving under the influence or “DUI,” the first thing that usually comes to mind is driving under the influence of alcohol. What many people do not realize is that in Florida and across the country, they can also get arrested for DUI if they are driving under the influence of drugs.
I’m not only talking about illegal drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana or methamphetamines, I’m also referring to lawfully prescribed medications, such as Xanax, Ambien, or OxyContin.
Under Section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes (Driving Under the Influence), a person is guilty of DUI if he or she is in actual physical control of a vehicle in Florida and:
- They are under the influence of alcohol, or
- They are under the influence of a chemical substance as covered in Sec.
877.111 (e.g. toluol, hexane, acetone, nitrous oxide, ethyl acetate), or
- They are under the influence of a controlled substance under chapter 893, and
- They are affected by such drugs or alcohol to the extent that their normal
faculties are impaired.
A person is also guilty of DUI if their blood alcohol level (BAL) is .08% or higher.
Penalties for a Drug-Related DUI
Under Florida law, you can be arrested for a drug-related DUI, regardless of the type of drug. Whether you’re arrested for an alcohol or a drug-related DUI, the penalties are as follows:
- Up to a $1,000 fine for a first offense
- Up to a $2,000 fine for a second offense
- Up to 6 months in jail for a first offense
- Up to 9 months in jail for a second offense
- Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for a second offense
Essentially, a person can be convicted of DUI for driving under the influence of alcohol, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance. Under Florida law, the penalties for a drug or alcohol-related are the same, regardless of how the prosecution proves the DUI defendant is guilty.
Searching for a Miami DUI lawyer to defend you against drug-related DUI charges?
Contact me, Attorney Jonathan Blecher for a free case evaluation. I am a member of the National College for DUI Defense, selected for inclusion in Florida’s Super Lawyers®, and AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®.