When most people hear driving under the influence, the first thing they think of is alcohol. However, an individual can just as easily face charges for driving while under the influence of controlled substances. If a police officer stops you because they believe you are driving under the influence of drugs, you could face serious criminal charges and a conviction on your permanent record.
Just as with drunk driving, operating a vehicle while impaired on drugs, whether they are legally prescribed or not, could result in severe penalties. There could be a criminal conviction, steep fines, probation, time in jail, and court-ordered drug programs. Because of the severity of these charges, it is important to seek legal counsel from a DUI attorney if accused. An experienced Boca Raton drug DUI lawyer could help you prepare your defense and mitigate any penalties against you.
What Happens When Someone is Charged with a Drug DUI?
An individual’s ability to talk, hear, see, walk, make judgments, and perform physical tasks is subjective. Therefore, various field tests may be given to a driver to determine their level of sobriety. Any police officer making a stop has the discretion to decide whether a driver is operating their vehicle while impaired by medications or a controlled substance. Additionally, since most drugs do not show up on a breathalyzer or other approved breath analysis, law enforcement may ask the driver in question to submit to a urine or blood test to prove their level of intoxication. If someone is stopped because they have been accused of a drug DUI, they should contact a lawyer in Boca Raton as soon as possible.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Medication
Under Florida Statute § 316.193, if a criminal court finds an individual guilty of a drug DUI, they may enforce strict penalties. These consequences are very similar to those for an alcohol DUI conviction. The penalties below are for first-time driving under the influence offenses without enhancements. Certain circumstances, such as the driver having a child in the car at the time of arrest or a sizeable quantity of drugs, could lead to penalties with enhancements. First-time drug DUI conviction ( non-accident )penalties could include:
- Up to six months in jail
- Fines of between $500 to $1,000
- Community service minimum of 50 hours
- License suspension for up to one year
- Vehicle impoundment of up to 10 days
- Participation in drug and alcohol classes and DUI school
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
With enhancements, fines and penalties could be steeper. A first-time drug DUI conviction with enhancements could mean a jail term of nine months, and fines doubled to the amount of $2,000. An attorney in Boca Raton could help someone charged with a drug DUI mitigate the penalties.
Contact a Qualified Boca Raton Drug DUI Attorney
If you face these severe charges, do not hesitate to reach out to an understanding and experienced Boca Raton drug DUI lawyer. The sooner you strategize, the better chance you have at building a powerful defense and a favorable outcome. A skilled criminal attorney could help you with the administrative hearing and the criminal court portion of your case. Call today to get started on the preparation of your case.