Can I get a DUI for Drugs in South Florida?: Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Explains 

Many people don’t know this, but you can get a DUI in South Florida for drug use. A DUI does not mean only drinking, it means Driving Under the Influence -- and in Florida, it’s illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


Yes: You can get a DUI for drugs in South Florida

In Florida, Driving Under the Influence, Statute 316.193, is the law that governs unlawfully driving while impaired. The statute specifically states:

“A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is subject to punishment …  if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and:

… is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired.”

The bolded language describes that a person is subject to Statute 316.193 if they are under the influence of any chemical substance or controlled substance.


This would include what are commonly referred to as recreational drugs. This means that you could get a DUI in Florida if you use any of the following recreational drugs, chemicals or controlled substances:

  • Nitrous oxide
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Opioids
  • Opiates
  • Hallucinogens
  • Cannabinoids
  • Marijuana (weed, pot)
  • Methamphetamine

Punishment for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of Drugs in Florida

Fort Lauderdale DUI Attorneys spell out Florida DUI jail penalties in an infographicBeing under the influence of these drug substances while driving is a DUI crime that, as a first offense, can come with punishment of up to 6 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.

Florida Drug DUIs also have consequences when it comes to your Florida driver’s license and driving privileges, which can affect your livelihood and ability to get to and from work. 


As a second DUI Drug offense can come with consequences  of up to 9 months and $2,000. It all depends on the specific circumstances, however. Learn more about Florida’s criminal DUI penalties here


Unlike alcohol-related DUIs in Florida, drugs do not have the same explicit limit standards. For alcohol, the Florida law  says that someone is under the influence of alcohol if:

  1. The person has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, OR
  2. The person has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

Florida Drug DUIs are much more subjective, which means you’re more likely to be charged

For drugs, the important language in the Florida DUI law is where it discusses a person’s normal faculties being impaired. That would likely differ from person to person based on the type and quantity of drugs consumed and how it influences each person. In the case of drugs, it would have to achieve the standard of normal faculty impairment. This process also depends more on the officer who’s pulled you over and is determining whether or not to arrest you.


Florida DUI Drug Charges are Hard (and Risky...) to Navigate on Your Own

Fort Lauderdale DUI Attorneys explain Florida DUI conviction penalties on driving privileges in an infogrpahicFlorida DUI charges based on impairment from drugs, rather than alcohol, are often more nuanced cases than DUIs with alcohol.


When handling any case that involves the risk of large fines or jail time, it is always important to contact an attorney to discuss your case. Especially with DUIs, as they can cause you to lose your driver's license which can affect your whole life. The experienced attorneys at Rossen Law Firm can look at the facts of your case and can explain the relevant laws. The attorneys at Rossen Law Firm will guide you through the process of dealing with the Florida DUI Drug charges that are brought against you. 


With deep experience representing clients in Florida, Adam, Manny and David will be able to apply their past experience as Florida State Prosecutors and Public Defenders to arrive at the best resolution for your case.


Free DUI Defense Consultation in South Florida

We’ve successfully handled a variety of South Florida DUI charges and cases involving drugs and alcohol. We’re confident we can give you the results and aggressive defense you deserve and need to protect your liberty and future. 


We offer a FREE strategy session to new clients interested in discussing the details of their case so you know how we plan to get the best possible outcome for you and your case.  


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