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Fort Myers Criminal Law Blog

Is drugged driving the same as drunk driving?

Florida laws can bring harsh punishments for people who get behind the wheel while intoxicated. A conviction can lead to jail time, expensive fines and complications. Drunk driving is serious, yet many people overlook the serious nature of drugged driving. When a person is driving while under the influence of drugs, it can also lead to serious legal repercussions.

Drugged drivers often display some of the same behaviors as drunk drivers. However, while there are chemical tests that can determine a driver's blood alcohol concentration, there are no tests to accurately determine how drugged a driver may be at the time of a traffic stop.

What are per se laws, and what do they mean for your DUI case?

In Florida, a drunk driving arrest can lead to penalties that will have a detrimental impact on your life for years to come. State laws regarding DUIs are strict, and you understand there is much at stake. If you are currently facing these serious charges, it is smart to learn more about the law and what you are up against. 

Understanding DUI laws can start with learning more about per se laws and what they mean for your predicament. Informing yourself on the laws that impact your case will allow you to more effectively confront the charges against you and pursue a beneficial outcome. Due to the serious nature of DUI cases, it could be helpful to seek guidance regarding the most appropriate approach to your defense strategy.

Defending yourself after a drug-related DUI

Criminal charges can change your life, regardless of how minor they seem. In Florida, drivers charged with DUI could face a myriad of serious consequences, and those facing drug-related DUI would be wise to take quick action to defend their interests and build a strong defense.

Any type of drug can affect a driver's physical abilities and his or her cognitive function. Whether you have a prescription for the drug you took or you consumed an illicit drug, you could face life-altering consequences if convicted of a drug-related DUI. Many people do not know that DUI charges are not only for drunk drivers but drivers intoxicated by drugs as well. It is possible to fight these charges, and a conviction or guilty plea is never your only option.

Addiction may lead you down a rocky path that ends in arrest

It is not unusual for individuals to question how they ended up in certain situations. In some cases, people may have made a poor decision that had a domino effect that resulted in their landing in serious predicaments. Unfortunately, in cases of drug addiction, it may only take using a substance one time for an individual to become addicted.

Once you suffer from an addiction, it may seem as if your every thought focuses on when and how you will get your next fix. As a result, you may end up going down roads you may not have considered before the addiction took control of your life. Although some people may simply want you to change your ways and get back on track, overcoming a drug addiction is no easy task.

Will you need an ignition interlock device to get to work?

Facing DUI charges in Florida or elsewhere is definitely no small matter. You may think back on the day police arrested you and wonder if it was all worth it or if you'd have been much better off choosing non-alcoholic beverages when you dined with friends that night. You may also be one of many motorists who know they only had a very small amount of alcohol in their systems and are convinced the results of their Breathalyzer tests were faulty.

Although it's sometimes possible, with regard to the latter, to challenge evidence, not all challenges are successful, and you could still face conviction if things don't go your way in court. If you do wind up with a DUI conviction on your record, your daily life may undergo drastic changes beginning with your means of transportation. You could possibly retain driving privileges; however, state law may require you to install an ignition interlock device before you get behind the wheel.

It's my first DUI in Florida. What is going to happen?

Facing criminal charges of any kind can be overwhelming. This is especially true when you are facing a drunk driving charge for the first time and are unsure of what will happen and what you should do next. Florida drivers charged with a first-time DUI could still face significant penalties if convicted.

Regardless of your criminal history, you would be wise to take your DUI seriously. It is always worthwhile to confront your charges appropriately, seeking the best possible outcome to your individual situation. With the right help, you may be able to preserve your interests, protect your personal freedom and avoid the inconvenience of certain DUI penalties.

Drug convictions could derail student financial aid

As a Florida Gulf Coast University student, you likely enjoy many of the activities that come along with your education. You may make new friends, attend events, learn interesting subjects and find out more about yourself during these formative years. Of course, during this time, a little trouble may sneak its way in as well.

Though skipping a class or failing an assignment may not make a substantial difference in the long run, other actions could easily put your education and future off the rails. For instance, if you have drug-related charges brought against you, you could face legal consequences as well as lose federal financial aid in the event of a conviction.

The ammunition in your carry-on bag may trigger big problems

Florida airports are often crowded, busy places and you may have experienced a time or two when you barely boarded your flight on time because of delays at the check-in counter or security checkpoint. When you're trying to reach your destination on time, you may get a little stressed and start to worry whether you've remembered to pack your essentials, labeled your bags properly or remembered to bring your passport if you plan to leave the country.

If one of the items you packed in your luggage happens to be a firearm, you obviously want to research the strict regulations for doing so ahead of time or you may wind up in a heap of trouble at the airport. In addition to the rules at a particular airport facility, you also need to look into gun laws of the state and local government where you'll be landing.

A fake ID can mean real trouble

For many young people, summer is over, and they have already returned to their colleges and universities to resume their studies. College is a heady time, full of new opportunities and freedom they may not have had at home. You may remember your own college days well and hope your child has positive and rewarding experiences.

You are likely not fooled into believing that your child will travel through his or her college days without tasting alcohol. In fact, it may be difficult to resist the lure of friends' invitations to parties, bars and gatherings. If your child is underage, he or she may be tempted to procure a fake ID in order to access alcohol in these situations.

A DUI checkpoint can be a turning point

You see the signs and lights ahead and realize you are stuck. There is a DUI roadblock, and you can't turn back. Maybe you had a couple of beers earlier in the evening, and you're sure police will smell it on your breath. If they do, what will happen? Will they arrest you? Will they search your car? If they do, what will they find? Are checkpoints even legal?

These questions may flood your mind in the moments while you sit in line waiting to pass through the checkpoint. Checkpoints seem to be part of life in Florida, especially around holidays like New Year's and July Fourth. While some states have banned them as unconstitutional, Florida uses checkpoints frequently as a way to identify and deter drunk drivers.

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