Type of Influence
Although a DUI charge can refer to driving under the influence of drugs, the term is typically associated with drinking and driving.
As defined by Florida State code, DUID charges specifically indicate that the driver was seemingly operating or “in physical control” of a vehicle while under the influence of a drug or a controlled substance. Although many controlled substances are illegal, a driver can commit a DUID if under the influence of a medically prescribed, completely legal drug. You simply must show mental or physical impairment in or around the vehicle.
In order to be considered an alcohol-related DUI, you must have a blood-alcohol content level of at least .08%. Usually, police will request a blood or urine sample, or issue a breath test, in order to determine the level of alcohol in your system. Although you have the right to refuse the tests during the arrest, the court will attempt to use your refusal as an admission of guilt.
As there is no set minimum to indicate the influence of a drug, there is no urine or blood test for a DUID. Instead, special officers, known as Drug Recognition Experts (DRE), are brought to the scene during your arrest to observe your behavior and identify if you are under the influence. Additionally, officers attempt to search your car for indications of a drug offense, similar to searching for indications of alcohol during a typical DUI.
Length of Time
Alcohol typically leaves your system within a matter of hours. Someone completely intoxicated one night may have no alcohol in their bloodstream the next day and therefore is able to drive without any remaining influence.
In this way, drugs differ greatly from alcohol. Although some drugs can pass out of your system in a few days, many stay in your system months after initial use. This is another reason that a DRE observes your behavior during the initial arrest, and testifies about their observations in court.
Both DUI and DUID convictions can result in the suspension or revocation of your license. Additionally, you could face jail time, fines, and permanent criminal charges on your record.
Alcohol-related DUIs can range in punishment depending on the severity of your crime and if you have any previous DUI convictions. A first-time DUI offense is punishable by up to 6 months in jail, 50 hours of community service, and up to a $500 fine. If you have a previous DUI conviction, you could face up to $5,000 in fines and 5 years in jail.
A first-time DUID offense is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If this is your second DUID, you could face a sentence of up to 9 months in jail and $2,000 in fines.
Contact Our Seminole County DUI Defense Lawyers Now
Whether you were driving under the influence of alcohol, a prescription drug, or a controlled substance, our criminal defense attorneys are here to defend you. We take the time to collect evidence of your arrest and fight to reduce or drop your charges. Our attorneys can also help you fight the suspension of your license with the DMV and work to retain your driving privileges through an occupational license. At The Law Office of David A. Webster, P.A., we have over 25 years of combined experience and can provide knowledgeable and passionate legal representation.