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Criminal Defense for Drug-Related DUI Charges

The penalties you could face from a drug DUI arrest in Tampa are incredibly harsh and require an experienced DUI attorney to handle your case. At Buda Law, our DUI lawyers know what it takes to fight a potential DUI conviction. Our attorney Andrew Buda and his team will provide you with the best DUI defense strategy to fight these charges so you can return to normal. 

When fighting such severe allegations as a felony DUI, you need the best DUI defense lawyer fighting for you, and that’s Andrew Buda. Contact our Tampa DUI defense attorney immediately if you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, controlled substances, or prescription medication. 

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Facing charges for a drug DUI? Contact us at 813-322-2832 to discuss your case and learn your options during a FREE initial consultation.

Can You Get a DUI for Drugs?

To be arrested for a drug DUI, the driver must physically control the vehicle while under the influence of certain controlled substances or harmful chemicals, according to Florida Statute 316.193. A motorist can be arrested for a drug DUI even when not driving it. To be in actual control of a vehicle means that they’re either in the vehicle, on the vehicle, or have the capability to operate it. You could be arrested for a drug DUI if you’re under the influence of marijuana, other recreational drugs, or prescription medications. Even if you’ve been prescribed medicinal marijuana, you can still be arrested for a drug DUI. 

Drug-Related DUI Defense

Florida Drug DUI Laws

To be considered “driving under the influence” in Florida, you must be under the effects of a substance that impairs your normal facilities, which can include the ability to hear, see, walk, talk, drive a vehicle, judge distances, act in an emergency, and perform mental and physical activities. Any substance affecting your ability to complete the previously listed tasks can lead to a DUI charge. Substances can include alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs or medications, or a combination of chemicals. The most common substances we see that result in a drug DUI arrest are: 

  • Marijuana
  • Prescription medications like Xanax, Valium, or Oxycontin
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Heroin
  • Cocaine

Drug DUI charges can still apply even if you have a valid prescription. If you do not have a valid prescription, you could face drug possession charges in addition to the drug DUI charges. If you’ve been prescribed medications warn against operating a motor vehicle, it’s important not to do so until you know how that medication can affect you. 

In Florida, there is no “per se” limit for driving under the influence of drugs or other medications. For instance, the “per se” limit for an alcohol DUI conviction is a blood alcohol content above 0.08%. Since Florida does not have a “per se” for drugs, you can face a DUI conviction for being under the influence of drugs, no matter the amount in your system or if you’ve been legally prescribed the medication. 

When fighting DUI cases, it’s crucial to have an experienced DUI defense attorney representing you. Not only will they know how to fight your charges, but they will make sure that you receive the best outcome possible. Contact Tampa criminal defense attorney Andrew Buda at Buda Law today if you’re involved in a drug-related DUI case. 

Florida Marijuana DUI

What are the Penalties for a Drug-Related DUI in Florida?

The penalties for a drug DUI arrest are similar to those of an alcohol-related one but can vary depending on the circumstances. The possible drug DUI penalties are:

  • First offense: Typically, a person’s first DUI conviction can result in up to six months in jail, $500-$1,000 in fines, and 50 hours of community service or more. The driver’s license can also be suspended for six months to a year. 
  • Second offense: If you receive a second DUI within five years of a previous DUI conviction, you could receive ten days to nine months in jail and up to $2,000 in fines. Your driver’s license will be revoked for at least five years.
  • Third offense: A person’s third DUI within ten years of two previous DUI convictions can result in 30 days in jail, five years in prison, and up to $5,000 in fines. Your driver’s license will be revoked for at least ten years. 

In order to convict you of a drug DUI arrest, the state attorney’s office must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. You drove or were in physical control of the motor vehicle; and
  2. You were either under the influence of alcohol or a controlled or chemical substance that impaired your normal facilities while operating that vehicle.
Florida Drug DUI Attorney

Possible Defenses Against a Drug DUI

When you’ve been arrested for drug DUI charges, your DUI lawyer can approach your case with many defense strategies specific to fighting drug-related charges. Some of the possible DUI defense strategies are: 

  • Lack of probable cause for the traffic stop 
  • Your Miranda Rights were not given before the interrogation.
  • Protocol was not followed in collecting, storing, and/or gathering breathalyzer tests or blood or urine tests. 
  • The chemical test results were not accurate.
  • You weren’t “under the influence” of drugs.
  • The signs of “intoxication” were due to illness, anxiety, fatigue, etc.
  • You failed the Field Sobriety Test due to uncomfortable shoes, inner ear disorder, etc.

An experienced attorney representing you against a DUI arrest can mean the difference between jail time and a fine. If you’re facing a DUI conviction, contact Tampa DUI attorney Andrew Buda today by calling (813) 352-2217

Drug-Related DUI

Marijuana DUI FAQs

It’s important to understand some facts about marijuana usage and driving. We break down some of the most frequently asked questions about driving and smoking marijuana.

Anyone driving with marijuana in their system is at risk of receiving a drug DUI arrest. THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, affects everyone differently. For example, people that smoke marijuana regularly may not be as affected by it compared to those that don't regularly smoke. However, it is recommended that anyone smoking up to 35 milligrams of marijuana should wait six or more hours before getting behind the wheel. You should wait eight or more hours if you're consuming up to 18 milligrams, either by eating or drinking. If you consume alcohol along with marijuana, it's recommended to wait even longer before driving.
If you've been pulled over for a suspected drug DUI, the law enforcement officer will have you perform a similar field sobriety test like an alcohol DUI. After the field-sobriety test, if the officer suspects marijuana use, he can request that the driver submit a blood or urine test. When you apply for your driver's license in Florida, you consent to take these tests. This is Florida Statute 316.1932, also known as Florida's implied consent law. This law states that by accepting the privilege to drive, you consent to the lawful request for testing to determine alcohol levels in breath or blood. If that test results positive for marijuana, the police officer can arrest you.
Currently, breathalyzer tests cannot detect THC or marijuana use. When a police officer suspects you're under the influence of marijuana, they will have you submit to a urine or blood test. Since Florida residents consent to take blood or urine tests when applying for their driver's license, you cannot refuse the test. 
An ignition interlock device cannot detect the presence of marijuana. It is only designed to detect your Breath-Alcohol Content, BrAC. While the IlD can't detect marijuana on your breath, it can detect smoke. If you blow smoke into your car breathalyzer, you could get locked out and face penalties. Even though IlDs can't detect weed, they can be mandated following a drug DUI conviction. According to research by the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2016, there is a correlation between marijuana and alcohol use. So even though they can't detect marijuana, they can still prevent someone from driving under the influence.
Consuming marijuana before driving can be dangerous. Since marijuana affects everyone differently, it can be hard to pinpoint how it can impair driving. If you're smoking up to 35 milligrams of marijuana, you should wait at least six hours before driving. If you've eaten or drank up to 18 milligrams of marijuana, you should wait eight or more hours before operating a vehicle. Anyone that has both smoked marijuana and consumed alcohol should wait even longer, as the effects of both substances together can significantly impair your driving ability.
Drug-Related DUI Penalties

If You’re Facing Drug-Related DUI Charges, Call Top Tampa DUI Lawyer Andrew Buda Today

If you’re facing a possible drug-related DUI conviction, contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential. DUI cases that involve drug use have additional complications than those related to alcohol which is why having an expert DUI attorney representing you is critical. As a former prosecutor turned criminal defense attorney, Andrew Buda at Buda Law has been on both sides of the courtroom and has the experience necessary for you to receive the most favorable outcome. To schedule a free consultation with Tampa DUI lawyer Andrew Buda, call our office at (813) 352-2217 or complete our online intake form today. 


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