Driving under the influence of marijuana or any other drug is referred to as “drugged driving.” The penalties for drugged driving, including a marijuana DUI, are prosecuted under the same laws as drinking and driving.
In any state, it is illegal to drive while under the influence; this is true whether or not you’re legally qualified to consume that substance.
Driving high in Florida can result in expensive fines, jail time, and license revocation—depending on how many previous offenses you have on record. These convictions may remain on your record for 75 years, so you should think twice before getting behind the wheel if you are under the influence of marijuana.
What Is a Marijuana DUI?
A marijuana DUI is given when an individual is found driving under the influence of marijuana. Drivers with a certain level of THC in their system are considered under the influence.
Being in physical control of the vehicle also includes any situation where you might operate a vehicle. This makes it possible for someone to be convicted of a marijuana DUI for sitting in the driver’s seat in possession of the keys while the car is parked.
Is Marijuana Legal in Florida?
Possessing marijuana is only legal for( seasonal or permanent) residents of the state of Florida who are registered as marijuana patients as certified by their doctor. These individuals must be entered into a medical marijuana use registry and have an ID card.
Recreational marijuana possession and usage in Florida is illegal. Even if it were legal in the state, individuals caught under the influence while operating a motor vehicle would still be charged with a marijuana DUI.
Tests Given to Drivers to Test Their Sobriety
Every state has unique ways to handle marijuana-impaired driving. The testing for drug impairment is not as simple as testing for alcohol because of the limitations on drug-testing technology and because marijuana can stay in the system for weeks, potentially causing a false reading.
If the officer pulling you over has reason to believe that you are under the influence of drugs while driving, they may request that you submit a blood or urine sample. Florida law assumes that you consent to this testing.
You have the right to refuse a test unless you are involved in a crash that results in severe injury or death. Keep in mind that any refusal will be recorded and used as evidence, and it may be viewed as suspicious.
There may not be clear signs of impairment. Officers at the stop have to use their best judgment and objective evidence, including the smell of marijuana, physical symptoms of marijuana influence, and the driver’s admittance to recent use.
There are no official tests to confirm if a driver is under the influence of marijuana. Current tests can only show whether the drug is in your system but not whether or not it has been consumed. Discrepancies in testing prevent the current system from being 100% accurate.
Driver’s Rights When They Are Pulled Over
Any individual operating a motor vehicle in the state of Florida is implied to have given their consent to submit to a urine or blood test to detect the presence of chemicals or controlled substances if stopped.
Every driver has the right to refuse submission to testing, but this is a first-degree misdemeanor and can be punished with up to one year in jail. You must exit the vehicle upon request because a traffic stop is considered the same as being detained by a police officer. You may not leave without permission.
Under the fifth amendment of the United States Constitution, every individual has the right to remain silent at a traffic stop. You must provide your name and address, but you can invoke your right to remain silent and decline to answer any following questions until you have been granted legal representation.
You are also not required to consent to a search for your vehicle or your person. The officer should not search you or your car without a warrant. However, do not resist if they conduct a search against your consent for your safety.
Punishment for a Marijuana DUI in Florida
Drunk driving and drugged driving are considered the same crime in Florida, resulting in the same penalties. If your case involves aggravating factors such as the presence of a minor in the vehicle at the time of the incident, injury, property damage, or death can increase the stated fines and jail time.
- First Offense: Up to 6 months of jail time with fines of between $500-$1,000; license suspension of 180 days to one year; 50 hours of community service or a possible $500 buyout; 10-day vehicle impoundment.
- Second Offense: Up to 9 months jail time; fines between $1,000-$2,000; mandatory ignition interlock device; license suspension for 1-5 years; 1-year probation with a mandatory psychosocial evaluation; 50 hours of community service or an alternative $500 buyout; 10-day vehicle impoundment.
- Third Offense: Possible felony charge with up to 1 year in jail; a fine between $2,000-$4,000; license suspension between 2-10 years; 1 year of mandatory probation with a psychosocial evaluation; installation of an ignition interlock device; 50 hours of community service or $500 buyout; 90-day vehicle impoundment.
- Fourth Offense: Felony charge and up to $5,000 in fees; up to 5 years in prison; permanent license revocation; 50 hours of community service or $500 buyout; vehicle impoundment for 90 days.
What to Do if Charged with a Marijuana DUI in Florida
When you’re facing a marijuana DUI charge in Florida, you should hire a lawyer with experience with these cases. Being pulled over under the influence of marijuana in Florida can result in serious DUI charges. Before you say more to police or prosecutors, make sure you have the right attorney to defend your case.
Contact the team at Mike G Law for legal help today and more information about marijuana DUI cases.