Controlled Substance DUI

In the state of Florida, DUI stands for driving under the influence. When people hear the words DUI, they typically think automatically of drinking and driving. However, there is also another type of behavior that can lead to DUI charges: driving while under the influence of a drug.

A controlled substance DUI presents some significant complications because there is no clear-cut standard for how much of a drug someone must have consumed in order to be considered too impaired to drive. As such, it is imperative to consult with an experienced Florida DUI attorney at Musca Law if you are facing DUI charges related to a controlled substance. Clients throughout Miami, Tallahassee, Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Orlando and surrounding areas have all benefitted from the knowledgeable legal advice provided by the criminal defense lawyers at Musca Law and we can put our legal skills to work for you in your DUI case.

Drug-Related DUIs in Florida

When you are arrested for drunk driving, the most important piece of evidence against you is typically your BAC test. If your BAC test reveals you have a BAC above .08, then this is pretty conclusive evidence that you are guilty of a DUI. With drugged driving, however, there is no such objective measure. Although a Senate Bill is before the senate as of 2012 that would essentially impose “zero tolerance” and hold a driver responsible for a DUI when any drugs were in his system, this law is not in effect yet.

A test can be conducted to determine if someone has used drugs, and this test is typically administered when a law enforcement officer believes that someone is driving while impaired by a controlled substance. However, testing someone to determine if he is driving while on drugs is much more complicated than testing someone to determine if he’s driving while drunk.

For instance, a test for THC (used to determine if you are high on marijuana), will show levels of the drug in your blood stream even if you smoked marijuana a few hours or a few days before the driving occurred. You may, therefore, not have been high at all while driving. Although the Senate Bill pending would still impose DUI charges on you based on the TC in your blood, the results of the test would be far from conclusive evidence as to whether you were actually impaired while driving.

It is thus very challenging to assess how high on a controlled substance you were at the time you were driving (or if you were high) and to determine whether your use of the controlled substance actually impaired your driving. The matter of your guilt in such a case will often come down to whether the law enforcement officer who arrested you can convince the court that you were actually high on drugs when driving and that he knew this based on his training and expertise.

Because it is the prosecutor’s burden to prove your guilt in a drug-related DUI, you have many possible options for defending yourself and for introducing reasonable doubt in controlled substance DUI cases. As such, it is imperative you consult with a Florida DUI lawyer to learn how to proceed when you are charged with a controlled substance DUI.