Florida law prohibits driving under the influence. This applies not only to alcohol consumption, but also any other drug. The penalties for drug-related DUIs are generally the same as alcohol, but they may take other factors into consideration, such as your prior criminal history and the nature of the drug consumed. If you’re facing a DUI charge for driving under the influence of drugs in Florida, contact the drug DUI lawyers at Fischer Redavid PLLC and learn more about your legal options today.
Florida law sets certain thresholds for alcohol consumption – a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more indicates that you are legally too intoxicated to drive safely. However, drug DUIs have a more subjective criteria. Under Florida Statute 316.193, any motorist may face conviction for a drug DUI after being “in actual physical control” of a vehicle while under the influence of controlled substances or other harmful substances. What do these definitions mean?
“Actual physical control” of a vehicle means that a driver is in a vehicle and has the means to operate it. In other words, you may have a DUI if you’re not actually driving. Sitting in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition may be enough to lead to a DUI charge.
“Under the influence” relates to the idea that a driver experiences impairment of normal faculties following consumption of drugs. Under Shaw v. State (2001), the Florida Supreme Court further defines under the influence as drugs affecting a person’s mental or physical capabilities in a significant manner.
Controlled substances include a range of illicit and prescription drugs, including opioids, narcotics, stimulants, benzodiazepines, or cannabinoids.
“Harmful chemicals” include anything that may impair a person’s ability to drive but does not fall under the category of a controlled substance. Examples include isopropyl alcohol, nitrous oxide, acetone, or other commercial or industrial inhalants.
The penalties for a drug DUI depend on the circumstances of the arrest, prior history, and other factors. Generally, however, Florida law provides the following penalty schedule for drug DUI convictions:
Sentencing in drug-related DUIs can be complex. Certain statutes, for example, might impose a minimum jail sentence that does not accurately reflect the amount of time a person may spend behind bars. A number of factors might affect a defendant’s actual sentencing, from good behavior in custody and even programs that serve in lieu of jail time.
If you face criminal charges for a Drug DUI in Florida, contact the drug DUI lawyers at Fischer Redavid PLLC. We can help you understand your options under Florida law and can explore alternative methods of legal recourse, such as jail alternative programs and drug court. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our firm and learn more about your rights and responsibilities throughout the process. Let us help you get back on your feet.