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Driving Under the Influence of Medical Marijuana in Florida: What You Should Know

Drivers know that drinking and driving can lead to car crashes, which is why it is illegal. Under Florida law, you can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above 0.08. What about marijuana and other drugs? Can you be arrested for being under the influence, and if so, what are the legal limits?

Determining intoxication of drugs is not so easy. Because of the way drugs affect the body, there is no accurate way to calculate how much of a certain drug a person has in their body. Now that Florida has legalized medical marijuana, lawmakers are trying to find ways to determine THC levels in the blood, but to no avail.

There are problems with this because THC levels tend to build up when a person uses marijuana on a regular basis. In addition, marijuana does not produce increased THC levels when ingested. Therefore, levels would not be accurate in either case.

Some states enforce a five-nanogram limit on drivers, while others are stricter and arrest drivers who have any amount of THC in their bloodstream while driving. This means that those who haven’t use marijuana in weeks could be arrested.

What Florida Law Says

Under Florida Statutes Section 316.193, a person is guilty of DUI if a person is in control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. Alcohol intoxication can be determined by blood, breath or urine, but what about marijuana and other drugs?

Under current Florida law, the only gauge of drug intoxication is impairment of normal faculties. This includes the ability to perform the many mental and physical activities of daily life, such as walking, talking, seeing, hearing, driving and making judgments. This law extends to prescription drugs as well. Some cause drowsiness and lack of judgment, so it’s important to understand the side effects and take caution when driving. If you are caught driving erratically after taking a prescription drug, you can be charged with a DUI.

Penalties

The penalties for a first offense of drugged driving is a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail. Your driver’s license could be suspended for up to one year, you’ll be required to perform 50 hours community service, and your vehicle will be impounded for 10 days.

The penalties increase from there. After the first offense, the penalties include probation, mandatory ignition interlock and psychosocial evaluation. The third offense within 10 years is a felony.

Reach Out to a Miami Personal Injury Attorney for Help

While it’s easy to determine if someone has had too much to drink, the same cannot be said about marijuana and other drugs. It’s up to police to determine whether or not someone was under the influence at the time they are pulled over.

If you believed a drugged driver contributed to your car accident, the Miami, Florida personal injury lawyers at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum, LLP can help find evidence to support your case. To schedule a consultation, give us a call at (305) 371-2692 or visit us online.