Yes. Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in Florida and subject to the same penalties as driving while impaired by alcohol or any other drug. You can get a DUI anytime you drive impaired by drugs or alcohol. Worse, you could cause an accident and hurt yourself or others.
How Does Being Stoned Affect Drivers?
Drivers under the influence of marijuana have slowed reaction times, limited short-term memory, decreased hand-eye coordination, weakened concentration, and difficulty perceiving time and distance.
Marijuana remains in the body much longer than alcohol, so drivers may be impaired even if they feel sober.
How Can Officers Tell If You Are Stoned?
There is no legal limit for marijuana, and the drug affects everyone differently. Officers will perform field sobriety tests to determine whether you are impaired and blood tests to determine whether you have marijuana in your system.
If you fail the field sobriety test and have TCH (the active ingredient in marijuana) in your blood, you may be charged with a DUI.
What If I Have a Medical Marijuana Card?
Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal even if you have a medical marijuana card. Certain low-THC medical marijuana products, however, are specifically formulated to not cause impairment.
If you get pulled over after using low-THC medical marijuana, you may have a defense to an impaired driving charge – even if TCH appears on your blood test.
Does It Matter How I Consume My Marijuana?
Yes and no. Florida made edible medical marijuana legal on August 20, 2020. Manufacturers must follow special rules, but the laws surrounding medical marijuana remain similar for patients.
Still, you should keep in mind that edibles have a slower onset and longer duration than other forms of marijuana consumption. If you eat an edible, you may not feel the effects of the drug right away. This does not mean it is safe to drive. Typically, you will start feeling stoned within 30 to 90 minutes and the effects of edible marijuana can last for 5 to 6 hours.
Just like with other prescription medications, you should not drive until you know how edible marijuana affects you. Marijuana can make you drowsy and affect your ability to react to the situations you may encounter while driving – even if you feel sober or alert.
Can I Use Marijuana and Drive Within the Same Day?
Every person metabolizes marijuana differently, and ironically, being stoned can make it harder to self-assess your sobriety. If you are new to medical marijuana, do not use marijuana and drive in the same day.
Once you understand how the drug affects you, you can make the call on whether to drive. No matter what, keep in mind that marijuana can stay in the body for up to 90 days, depending on how often you use the drug. Getting behind the wheel with marijuana in your system can open you up to legal trouble – even if you have not consumed the drug in several days.
If you fail to drive safely, prepare to be pulled over, and if you have marijuana in your system, prepare to be charged with a DUI.
The Importance of DUI Defense
DUI defense is especially important for DUIs while stoned. Officers have no way to objectively assess your impairment, so contacting an attorney as soon as possible can help you prove your case and protect your rights. Our team at Jonathan Blecher, P.A. will assess all the factors that influence marijuana impairment and highlight the subjectivity of law enforcement officers. We have more than 40 years of experience helping people handle DUIs of all shapes and sizes, and your fight is our fight.
You can get a DUI while stoned in Miami, but the charges are unlikely to stick with our firm on your side.
To discuss your case with a skilled former prosecutor who has defended more than 5,000 criminal cases, call Jonathan Blecher, P.A. at 786-785-2035 or schedule your free, confidential consultation online.