With the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida, many think you can use marijuana without fear of criminal charges. Although you can legally ingest medical marijuana, with a prescription, if you choose to drive while under the influence of marijuana, you may be on the hook for a DUI.
How can you be charged with a DUI for driving under the influence of medical marijuana?
When you obtain your medical marijuana card, you are required by statute to sign an informed consent which shows that you understand the effect marijuana has on your motor skills and that you should not operate motor vehicles while under the influence of medical marijuana. Under Florida Statute § 316.193(1), a person is guilty of a DUI when they operate a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or substance, including prescription drugs. So, even though you have a prescription for marijuana, if you drive while impaired by marijuana, you can still be charged with a DUI.
How will an officer know I am under the influence of marijuana?
When you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI, an officer may ask you to complete field sobriety exercises. Additionally, they may ask you to take a blood or urine test which, by operating a motor vehicle in the state of Florida, you have been deemed to have consented to. If you refuse to participate in substance testing, it may be used against you in criminal proceedings or may affect the status of your driver’s license.
How can this affect your life?
Criminal charges and convictions can stay with you for the rest of your life. This may affect your job prospects or eligibility for professional licensure. As a result, if you are charged with DUI, it is very important that you protect your future by obtaining the best legal counsel. If you have any questions, please call the Law Office of Lee Meadows to schedule a free consultation.