When people hear the charge of Driving Under the Influence, they typically think of driving under the influence of alcohol. However, under Florida law, a person can also be charged with a DUI for being under the influence of a controlled substance, even prescription drugs that are provided to them under their name by their own doctor.
What to expect in Jacksonville for a DUI charge
In Jacksonville, if someone is stopped for a DUI, they will typically deal with an officer from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office or the Florida Highway Patrol. The case will most likely be prosecuted by the Florida State Attorney’s Office and will be heard by the Duval County Courts.
Penalties associated with a DUI charge include imprisonment, fines, impoundment of the vehicle driven, revocation of a driver’s license, and community service.
In Florida, the officer will most likely conduct field sobriety testing and request a breathalyzer test. One may refuse to submit to the chemical breath test, but refusal may result in driver’s license suspension.
Drugged driving in Florida
DUI charges can occur due to the driver consuming alcohol or driving under the influence of a controlled substance, such as marijuana, or driving under the influence of over-the-counter medication or prescription drugs. Driving while influenced by any drug can result in the same legal consequences as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Many prescription drugs cause drowsiness and can impair a person’s ability to drive safely. The difference between a DUI for driving under the influence alcohol and a DUI due to medication is that there is no legal limit for the amount of drugs in one’s body, whereas the legal limit for driving under the influence of alcohol is .08%. This means that any amount of a controlled substance or a prescription medication can result in a DUI charge.
DUI charges can be successfully challenged in court by an experienced defense attorney who has dealt with numerous types of DUI cases. Consulting an attorney as soon as possible when dealing with a DUI charge can help one to reduce and often eliminate legal consequences.