DUI of Controlled Substance
If you are arrested for driving in Florida under the influence of drugs, prescription drugs or controlled substances, please contact the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh to discuss your DUI of Controlled Substance Defense case.
Upon hearing the words "driving under the influence", an association with drinking and driving will typically come to mind. However, alcohol represents just one of the many potential drugs. Florida Statute 316.193 makes it unlawful to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both. The drugs could be legal or illegal, prescribed or over the counter. Many people believe that having a prescription or using over-the-counter medicines will keep them from getting arrested for a Florida DUI. This simply isn’t the case.
A prosecutor in Florida must show that the defendant was under the influence of an alcoholic drink and/or medication to prove a DUI of Controlled Substance Defense Miami or DUI of Controlled Substance Defense Fort Lauderdale. If no alcohol is involved, drug DUI cases can be difficult to prosecute as there are potentially numerous factors that may explain why the driver is affected other than substance use. These may include, but are not necessarily limited to, disease or sickness, mental illness, nervousness, sleep deprivation, or other natural causes.
Numerous prescription drugs carry warning labels attached to them that suggest that the person should not operate a motor vehicle while taking the drug. Even over the counter medications or substances may cause driver impairment, such as drowsiness for example.
For example, driving under the influence of cannabis can result in a DUI charge. In addition, driving under the influence of some prescribed prescription drugs (also known as "controlled substances") can result in a DUI charge. This can occur even if the driver has a valid prescription for the medication or if the drug is being the way it's supposed to.
If a driver has no prescription, he or she may face additional charges without a prescription, including possession of a controlled substance. If the driver has a prescription for the drug/medication, the effects of getting a "normal" DUI may be similar or equivalent. Such penalties can include but are not necessarily limited to fines, jail time, driver's license revocation, and mandatory hours of community service.
The officer making the possible arrest may not have the specialized training as the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) training in many situations. Therefore, any suggestion of drug use in the jury can cause bias to the defendant and may be construed as them being a "bad person."
However, since many officers have not received adequate training in recognizing objective signs of a person under the influence of various drugs, a skilled DUI defense lawyer is able to question and attack the “science” underpinning the DUI case.
There is no breath test in a DUI drug case. For drug impairment or a controlled substance, the law enforcement officer may decide to use the horizontal gaze nystagmus or eye test. A controlled substance or the presence of medications may also be demonstrated by performing a DUI blood test or DUI urine test.
A previously mentioned, proving this offense is significantly more difficult for the prosecution than proving driving under the influence of alcohol. To prove its case, the prosecution must show that the defendant was driving under the influence of the drug(s). The officer’s testimony about the driver’s physical appearance, erratic behavior, and statements concerning drug use will be used in court.
Finally, an officer's findings or any driver admissions may be deemed admissible. In these cases, it will be important for your DUI attorney for Florida to analyze the evidence against you carefully and advocate for it to be removed in court.
The general information provided above is meant for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for speaking directly with an attorney about the facts and circumstances of your case. Please call 954.807.4837 in Broward or 305.889.7190 in Miami to schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh.