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Medical Marijuana and Driving in Florida: Here is what you need to know

Most people know that it is illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, and other drugs. However, if you live in Florida or any other state that has legalized marijuana for medical uses, it’s easy to think that as long as you follow the medical marijuana rule carefully, you can still drive while on medication. In Florida, this isn’t the case. Impaired motorists are unsafe drivers no matter the reason for the impairment even if it’s medication.

Any driver understands that drunk driving can result in accidents. Besides, you can be arrested and charged with DUI if our BAC (blood alcohol content) is 0.08% or more. What about weed and other similar drugs? What are the legal limits for these drugs?

Any trained and experienced DUI lawyer in Orlando understands that determining the level of intoxication of marijuana and other similar drugs is not easy. This is because these drugs affect the body differently and there is no specific way of measuring what amount of a given drug is in your body. Now that Florida State has legalized the use of medical marijuana, lawmakers are still trying to find an effective way of determining the level of THC in the blood.

One of the major challenges in determining the amount of THC in one’s blood is that the level of THC builds up as you continue using marijuana. Additionally, marijuana doesn’t produce higher levels of THC when ingested. Thus, it might not make sense to use the level of THC in one’s blood to determine if they should be charged with a DUI.

The Florida Law

According to the Florida Statutes Section 316.193, you can be guilty of a DUI if you are in actual physical control of a vehicle or driving while under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances. It’s easy to determine alcohol intoxication through blood, breath, and urine tests. What about weed and other drugs? What does the law say?

According to the current Florida State law, the only way to gauge the level of drugs in your blood (intoxication) is impairment of your normal faculties. This encompasses your ability to perform various physical and mental activities of daily life including seeing, walking, hearing, talking, making judgments, and more.

Some prescription drugs cause drowsiness and lack proper judgment. Therefore, it’s important to know the side effects of the medication you might be taking and take caution when driving. If a law enforcement officer finds you driving erratically even after taking a prescription drug, you can be arrested and charged with a DUI.

Penalties

If it’s your first-time DUI conviction, you will pay a fine of up $10,000 and spend six months in jail. Your driver’s license will be suspended for about 12 months. Besides, you will have to perform a minimum of 50 hours community service and your vehicle immobilized for ten days after you have served your jail term.

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