Driving Under Influence of Drugs
Most people are aware that it is illegal for a person to drive while under the influence of alcohol, but alleged offenders can also be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) if they are believed to be under the influence of any controlled substance. Unlike alcohol-related DUI offenses in which tests of the alleged offender’s breath typically provide immediate results, cases in which people are believed to be under the influence of an illegal drug usually require blood or urine tests that are much more sensitive.
Even when an alleged offender tests positive for a controlled substance, it is not necessarily proof that the drug in question was active at the time the person was operating a motor vehicle. An arrest for DUI drugs (commonly referred to as DUID or drugged driving) carries many of the same steep penalties alleged offenders face for alcohol-related DUI offenses.Attorney for Driving Under Influence of Drugs Arrests in Broward County, FL
If you were arrested anywhere in South Florida for an alleged drugged driving offense, it will be in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation. The Hoffman Firm defends clients charged with all kinds of DUI offenses in Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, and many other surrounding areas of Broward County.
As a former Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who understands how to possibly get these types of criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call (954) 524-4474 today to have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.
Overview of Driving Under Influence of Drugs Crimes in Fort Lauderdale
- How can a person be charged with DUID in Florida?
- What are the consequences of convictions for drugged driving?
- Where can I find more information about driving under the influence of drugs in Broward County?
Florida DUID Charges
One of the ways that a person can be arrested for DUI under Florida Statute § 316.193 is for allegedly driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while that person is under the influence of any chemical substance or any controlled substance. When a police officer suspects that a motorist is under the influence of a controlled substance, he or she may summon a drug recognition expert (DRE).
DREs are police officers who have been trained to determine whether a person is under the influence of a controlled substance and what kind of illegal drug that person might have used. When a DRE arrives at the scene of an alleged drugged driving violation, he or she will usually follow the same 12-step protocol evaluation:
- Breath Alcohol Test;
- Interview of the Arresting Officer;
- Preliminary Examination and First Pulse;
- Eye Examinations;
- Divided Attention Psychophysical Tests;
- Vital Signs and Second Pulse;
- Dark Room Examinations;
- Examination for Muscle Tone;
- Check for Injection Sites and Third Pulse;
- Subject’s Statements and Other Observations;
- Analysis and Opinions of the Evaluator; and
- Toxicological Examination.
While DREs might undergo several hours of training, they are rarely able to recognize medical conditions or other factors that cause symptoms that can be misinterpreted as a person being under the influence of a controlled substance. Additionally, the fact that DREs speak to arresting officers before conducting a majority of their tests usually means that examinations only serve to confirm the original suspicions of the arresting officers.
It is important to remember that many prescription drugs are considered controlled substances in Florida, and a person could be charged with DUID for allegedly being under the influence of a drug he or she has a legal prescription for.
Driving Under Influence of Drugs Penalties in Broward County
Drugged driving convictions are generally subject to many of the same punishments as alcohol-related DUI offenses. People convicted of these crimes can have their driver’s licenses suspended, be ordered to perform community service, and have their vehicle impounded or immobilized.
The possible sentence an alleged offender receives will depend on how the alleged DUID offense has been classified. Generally, drugged driving can result in the following sentences:
- First Offense — Second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000;
- Second Offense in More Than Five Years — First-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to nine months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000;
- Second Offense Within Five Years — First-degree misdemeanor punishable by a minimum of 10 days up to nine months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000;
- Third Offense in More Than 10 Years — First-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000;
- Third Offense Within 10 Years — Third-degree felony punishable by minimum of 30 days up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000; or
- Fourth or Subsequent Offense — Third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of at least $2,000.
Florida Driving Under Influence of Drugs Resources
DrugFacts: Drugged Driving | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — NIDA is the federal government research institute within the United States Department of Health and Human Services with the mission “to advance science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction and to apply that knowledge to improve individual and public health.” On this section of the NIDA website, you can learn more about drugged driving issues. Find information about how many people are believed to drive under the influence of illicit drugs, which drugs are linked to drugged driving, and how often drugged driving causes crashes.
Drugged Driving | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — Visit this section of the NHTSA website to find information relating to drugged driving. You can view recent press releases, learn more about the dangers of drugged driving, and find studies related to drugged driving. You can also explore other topics relating to risky driving.
Were you recently arrested for an alleged DUID offense in Broward County? Do not say anything to authorities without legal counsel. Contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman represents individuals in communities all over South Florida, including Margate, Plantation, Dania Beach, Deerfield Beach, Hallandale Beach, and several other nearby areas. He can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (954) 524-4474 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.