Substance abuse and alcoholism are two pressing issues plaguing many states. It interferes with your daily life and damages your body and your brain.

The state of Florida, like many other states, is combating these problems by imposing strict penalties. Read below to understand the drug and alcohol laws in Florida.

DUI Laws in Florida

The state of Florida prohibits driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Blood alcohol level indicates the weight of alcohol in grams per 100 milliliters of blood. Breath alcohol level indicates the weight of alcohol in grams per 210 liters of breath.

A person is under the influence if their alcohol level is 0.08%, irrespective of his driving ability at the moment. Per Florida laws, a driver is guilty of a DUI if he is driving a motor vehicle under the influence of certain drugs.

The extensive list of Florida’s controlled substances includes:

● Painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin

● Cocaine

● Marijuana

● Heroin

●      Methamphetamine, and

●      Toxic chemicals that people abuse to get high.

Zero Tolerance Laws for Florida

For underage drivers and adults under the age of 21, having a blood or breath alcohol 0.02% level or higher is illegal. This means they could be subjected to a DUI charge even if they have a tiny amount of alcohol in their system.

This is known as “zero-tolerance” law, which tries to combat the dangers of underage drinking and potential road crashes.

Is Marijuana Legal in Florida?

The state of Florida makes the sale, purchase, and possession of marijuana illegal.

But you can register as a medical marijuana patient, get an ID card, and purchase marijuana from registered dispensaries. Your doctor has to certify that you have certain qualifying conditions.

Drug and Alcohol-Related Crimes

Most drug and alcohol-related crimes involve:

Manufacturing of Illegal Drugs: Renting a building for manufacturing or possessing listed chemicals used in making marijuana and other drugs is illegal.

Possession and Distribution of Illegal Drugs: Possession, distribution, sale, and purchase of drugs is illegal. In severe cases like drug trafficking, the state may impose a death sentence.

Illegal Drugs and Alcohol: Trace amounts of alcohol or drugs in your system while driving will get you a DUI charge. You can get a drug DUI just by being in the vehicle, even when you are not driving.

Penalties for Drug or Alcohol Abuse

Drugged Driving Penalties in Florida

First Offense DUI will get you six months of jail sentence, $500 to $1,000 fine, and 50 hours or more in community service. In addition, your license will be suspended for six months to 1 year.

Second Offense DUI penalties include ten days to 9 months of prison time and fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,000. You may get your license revoked for five years or more.

Third Offense DUI will get you 30 days to 5 years of jail time. You may pay at least $2,000 or a maximum of $5,000 in fines, and get your license revoked for ten years or more.

Furthermore, if you have a child in the vehicle, you will get an enhanced punishment.

Alcohol DUI Penalties in Florida

First DUI Conviction will result in a maximum jail sentence of six months and $500 to $1,000 fine. Upon this, you serve at least 50 hours of mandatory community service, 1-year probation, and finish a court-approved substance abuse course.

Second DUI Conviction will get you up to nine months of imprisonment, and $1,000 to $2,000 fine.

Third DUI Conviction will get you at least a one year of prison sentence and $2,000 to $5,000 fine.

For all the above, you lose your driving license for 180 days to 1 year.

If the second and third offenses happen within five and ten years after the prior, you face a license revocation for five and ten years, respectively. The judge may order drug monitoring, sobriety, and monthly-reporting probation.

Fourth and Subsequent DUI Convictions will get you a third-degree felony charge. This entails increased fines and longer imprisonment.

If there has been an accident involving an injury or death, the penalties will increase. Or, if there is an open container in the vehicle, the charges will be more severe.

DUI Under 21: Anyone under the age of 21 years found driving with an alcohol level of 0.02% or higher will face a DUI charge. They may lose their driving privileges for six to 18 months.

Illegal Drug Possession Charges in Florida

First Degree Misdemeanor: For possessing up to 20 grams of marijuana, you will pay up to $1,000 in fines.

If you are a repeat offender that has been convicted four times before this charge, you will be sentenced for one year in prison. You will complete mandatory treatment or be on house arrest for up to one year.

Third Degree Felony: You may get up to five years in jail for illegal possession of 20-25 grams of marijuana or up to:

  • 1 grams of LSD
  • 10 grams of ecstasy/MDMA
  • 28 grams of cocaine
  • 4 grams of heroin or other opiates

First Degree Felony: You may pay up to $250,000 fine and end up serving 30 years in jail for possessing above:

  • 25 pounds of marijuana
  • 28 grams of cocaine
  • 10 grams of ecstasy/MDMA
  • 1 gram of LSD
  • 4 grams of heroin or other opiates.

Tackle Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Florida Now

A drug-related charge or DUI conviction can have severe consequences in your future. So, if you are suffering from substance or alcohol abuse, get the proper treatment in time. Visit your nearest treatment center and start your journey towards a healthier life today!

Sources

  1. Nolo. (2014, November 26). Florida’s Drugged Driving Laws
  2. Find Law. (2018, February 28). Florida DUI Laws
  3. The Marijuana Policy Project (n.d.). Legalization bill introduced!
  4. The University of Florida Police Department. (n.d.). DRUG & ALCOHOL
  5. Find Law. (2018, March 20). Florida Drug Possession Laws

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