Florida's Drugged Driving Law

Learn about the laws and penalties for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in Florida.

Florida’s drugged driving law is located at Section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes Annotated. It states that a person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is subject to punishment if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and the person is under the influence of any chemical substance or any controlled substance. Provided that the drug impairs the persons normal faculties.

In other words, in Florida it’s a crime to drive while impaired from drug use. No blood testing standard is established in Florida – that is, there is no fixed amount of drugs within the blood system that determines conviction. Whether a driver is impaired is determined on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the prosecutor. Generally a driver is impaired if the driver is unable to perform the normal activities associated with driving and daily life.

What drugs are prohibited?

Florida’s drugged driving law is directed at the prohibition of controlled substances -- that is, any drug or chemical regulated by the government. A listing of controlled substances regulated by federal law are found at the Drug Enforcement Administration website. It’s not an acceptable defense to a drugged driving charge to claim that the driver is legally entitled to use the controlled substance.

What happens if a driver is convicted of drug impaired driving in Florida?

A driver arrested for drugged driving in Florida will be charged with driving under the influence and subject to DUI penalties. A conviction for drugged driving will be considered as a prior offense for purposes of calculating punishment regardless of whether a subsequent offense is due to alcohol or drugs. Read more about Florida’s DUI laws.

Do Florida drivers have to submit to drug testing?

Yes, there is an implied consent rule for chemical testing (urine and blood). The refusal to take the test can be admitted into evidence against the driver and results in a first degree misdemeanor. The officer must require the driver to provide a blood sample for chemical/controlled substance testing if the drive has been involved in a crash resulting in death or serious bodily injury.

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