Proving Drug Use (DUI)
As a Criminal Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, I have found that a prosecutor’s proving drug use in seeking a DUI conviction is far more difficult that straight alcohol cases. In Broward County, the case filer will always charge alternatively (i.e. alcohol/controlled substances).
In Fort Lauderdale, if a person is taking prescribed medication under the direction of a licensed physician, and the operation of a motor vehicle is not recommended, then a person should not lawfully drive if under the influence of same. Additionally, where there is no prescription, the substance is illegal, or a physician does not authorize driving, then a motorist can be prosecuted and convicted of DUI where it can be proven that that drivers faculties were impaired. Remember, this rule also applies to over-the-counter drugs.
Fort Lauderdale Criminal Lawyer’s Legal Definition:
Although there is no case law defining the parameters of what constitutes a drug, the element of proof is whether the substance impaired driving abilities to any extent. If a motorist is buzzing from a caffeine high, the state could prosecute the person for drunk driving. In one instance, a person was convicted for lawfully using insulin.
Consult with a Pharmacist in Fort Lauderdale:
It is always best to consult with your treating physician or regular pharmacist regarding the safe operation of a vehicle or whether specific medications can be consumed with alcohol. If there are warnings against the consumption of alcohol, it is more likely that criminal charges will be brought under the drunk driving statute, even though the medication was prescribed.
Fort Lauderdale Criminal Lawyer on Determining Drug Use: The NHTSA established eight field sobriety tests to determine drug usage: horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), pupil reaction, pupil size, standing steadiness, one-leg stand, walk-the-line, finger-to-nose, and pulse rate. Officers also consider skin marks, apathy, drowsiness, and hyperactivity. Although relatively accurate indicators of drug use, the reliability of the results is contingent upon the training and experience of the officer administering the tests.