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Have you been charged with a drug-related DUI in Florida? A DUI defense lawyer from Katz & Phillips, P.A. can help. In order to protect your ability to challenge the suspension of your license and other penalties, it is important to have a lawyer on your case within 10 days after your arrest. Your liberties are at stake and you can’t afford to wait.

What Is the Difference Between a DUI and a Drug-Related DUI?

A DUI charge is the same whether you’re charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Specifically, under Florida Statute 316.193, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within the state while you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that your normal faculties were impaired. DUIs are criminal charges, and punishments for first-time offenders can include any combination of the following:

  • A fine between $500 and $1,000
  • Imprisonment for up to six months
  • Probation
  • Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
  • Immobilization or impoundment of your vehicle
  • Court-ordered DUI classes

The penalties for driving under the influence increase for drivers with a blood alcohol level over .15 percent (or similar level of impairment from other drugs), for repeat offenders, and for drivers who caused bodily injury or property damage while under the influence. A third DUI within a 10-year period is a felony offense that comes with mandatory jail time.

Unlike alcohol DUIs, which are commonly tested with a breathalyzer, Florida drug-related DUIs require the arresting officer to obtain other evidence to prove that you were impaired. Such evidence may include the odor of marijuana on your person or in your vehicle, your body movements and behavior, color of your eyes, and other factors observed by the arresting officer. Apart from the officer’s observations, the only way to actually test whether a driver is under the influence of drugs is to get a blood or urine test, which you can lose your license for refusing to take.

Challenges in Drug Detection and Testing

In drug-related DUI cases in Florida, the accuracy and reliability of drug testing methods, like blood and urine tests, play a crucial role. Unlike alcohol detection, which often relies on breathalyzers, pinpointing drug impairment can be more complex. Blood tests, while precise, might not conclusively prove impairment at the time of driving, as some drugs linger in the bloodstream well after their effects have diminished. Similarly, urine tests, which detect drug metabolites, can indicate past drug use but fail to establish impairment at the specific time of the alleged offense.

Defense lawyers frequently challenge these tests in court, questioning the testing procedures, handling of samples, and interpretation of results. The timing of the test is critical; a significant delay between the traffic stop and testing can lead to questions about the relevance of the results. Furthermore, the presence of certain substances in the body doesn’t always equate to impairment, leading to debates over legal thresholds and individual tolerance levels.

These challenges highlight the need for meticulous analysis and expert testimony in drug-related DUI cases. As such, the defense strategy often involves scrutinizing the technical aspects of drug detection and questioning the direct correlation between the presence of drugs and actual impairment while driving.

Defense of Drug-Related DUI in Florida From Experienced Attorneys

Drug-related DUI cases can be defended in a number of ways depending on the particular circumstances of your case. Many times, the basis for the initial stop can be challenged. Additionally, urine tests do not prove that you were under the influence while you were driving, just that you had consumed drugs or alcohol sometime in the past. There are also potential defenses to blood tests and arguments can be made to combat the suspension of your driver’s license.

Since it’s generally harder for an officer to prove that you were driving under the influence of drugs, drug-related DUIs create the opportunity for an experienced Florida DUI defense lawyer to have your charges reduced or dismissed, depending on the facts of your case.

Contact a Florida Drug-Related DUI Law Firm Today

If you’re facing charges for driving under the influence of drugs in Florida, it’s essential to seek skilled legal representation immediately. Reach out to Katz & Phillips, P.A. for a comprehensive, free consultation. Our team of seasoned DUI defense attorneys understands the complexities of these cases and is committed to protecting your rights. We’re available around the clock, seven days a week, to ensure that you receive prompt and effective legal assistance. 

By choosing Katz & Phillips, P.A., you’re not just getting a lawyer; you’re gaining a dedicated advocate who will meticulously analyze your case, challenge evidence, and explore every avenue for your defense. Whether it’s negotiating for reduced charges or aggressively representing you in court, our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. Contact us at (321) 332-6864 or complete our online form to schedule your free consultation. In this challenging time, you deserve a legal team that’s not only experienced in Florida’s DUI laws but also deeply committed to your case. Let us be your partner in navigating the legal system and fighting for your future.