Although DUI charges are usually associated with alcohol, one can face DUI charges that are a result of impaired driving abilities due to over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs and narcotics. These charges are usually supported by evidence found in a blood or urine test, as well as a field sobriety test, along with statements from the arresting officers regarding the defendant's behavior at the time of the arrest.
If you have been charged with a DUI involving drugs, contact Ali & Blankner to discuss your case and your options for possible defense strategies. Our Orlando drug DUI attorneys have over 85 years of combined experience and have successfully defended clients against all types of drug-related DUI charges, including those involving medical and recreational marijuana.
The genuine care and concern Mr. Ali showed us during a difficult time were very much appreciated. It has been a long journey, however, Mr. Ali and the team at Ali & Blankner have been there with us each step along the way.T.M.
What Types of Drugs Can Lead to a DUI Arrest?
Any substance that impairs an individual’s driving abilities—such as coordination, alertness, attention, reaction times, or decision making—could result in a DUI arrest. These include both illegal and legal drugs, such as over-the-counter medications and prescriptions.
Some examples of common drugs involved in DUI arrests and charges include:
- Marijuana (recreational and medical)
- Opioids and opiates
- Sleeping aids, such as Ambien
- Vicodin, Oxycontin, and other painkillers
Many medications cause drowsiness and other side effects that can impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. It is very important that you read all possible side effects and ask your doctor if it is safe to drive when taking any prescription medications.
Potential Defense Strategies for Drug DUI Charges
When you are allegedly responsible for an accident due to driving while on drugs or intoxicated, you potentially face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges.
Often, police officers will search a vehicle and find drugs or drug-related paraphernalia. This can be very detrimental evidence in court. However, not all searches are conducted by officers in a legal way. If in their haste to make an arrest, they don't properly follow procedure, the evidence that they find in a search may end up being thrown out if it can be proven that it was an illegal search.
This is merely one defense strategy that we may employ in your DUI with drugs case. While every case is different and unique, an aggressive Orlando criminal defense lawyer from our firm can look for potential weaknesses in the prosecution's case against you and see if there is any way to have the case thrown out or have charges reduced or dropped.
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At Ali & Blankner, we are familiar with the process and procedures involved in drug-related DUI cases. We have over 85 years of combined experience among our attorneys in the field of criminal defense, and both our firm and our attorneys are top-rated in Florida.
In addition to our criminal defense experience, all of our attorneys have prosecution experience, as well. This has proven invaluable over the years, as we can analyze your case as the prosecution would to find weaknesses and holes that can be used to your benefit.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for drug-related DUI, call our Orlando drug DUI lawyers right away. We may be able to help you avoid the fines and penalties that go along with DUI convictions—but time is everything in your case. Act quickly to schedule a complimentary consultation with our team, and ask about our payment plans.
In Florida, it is illegal for anyone 21 or older to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or above. This is known as the per se limit. But BAC only measures the amount of alcohol in one’s system, not drugs.
As such, there is no per se limit when it comes to drugged driving. Instead, arresting officers must rely on the results of a field sobriety test and/or urine or blood tests to detect impairment or the presence of drugs in an individual’s system.
In many cases, arresting officers fail to conduct proper field sobriety tests. Additionally, blood and urine tests may be improperly completed or analyzed. Sometimes, officers do not have probable cause and make unlawful stops or unlawfully detain people. Depending on the circumstances of your situation, it may be possible to challenge this evidence.
To pull someone over, a police officer must have probable cause, meaning they must have some reason to stop you.
The police will often look for things such as:
- Weaving in and out of lanes
- Drifting over lane lines
- Unnecessary or sudden stops
- Last-minute breaking
- Failure to stop
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Erratic behavior
If an officer notices any of these or other unusual behaviors that might indicate that a driver is impaired, they have probable cause to pull them over. Once the officer has pulled the person over, they may look for signs of impairment, such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, dilated pupils, confusion, disorientation, fidgeting, extreme nervousness, and more.
What Are the Penalties for Drugged Driving in Florida?
If you are arrested for a drug-related DUI, you could face serious criminal and administrative penalties. The exact penalties you face depend on various factors, such as whether you have any prior DUI convictions, whether there was an accident that resulted in injury or death, and whether there was a minor in the vehicle at the time.
Some of the possible penalties for a drug-related DUI in Florida include:
- First Offense: Up to 6 months in jail, fines ranging between $500 and $1,000, driver’s license revocation of 180 days to 1 year, 50 hours of community service, and a 10-day vehicle impoundment
- Second Offense: Up to 9 months in jail, fines between $1,000 and $2,000, driver’s license suspension of 180 days to 1 year, ignition interlock device installation, 1 year of probation, 50 hours of community service, 10-day vehicle impoundment, and psychosocial evaluation
- Third Offense: Up to 12 months in jail or 30 days to 5 years if the third offense occurred within 10 years of a prior DUI conviction, fines ranging between $2,000 and $5,000, driver’s license suspension for 1 to 10 years, ignition interlock device, 1 year of probation, 50 hours of community service, and vehicle impoundment for 90 days
If a drugged driving arrest is a fourth or subsequent DUI offense, you face the same penalties for a third offense, along with $5,000 in fines and up to 5 years in prison.
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