Legislation related to Florida’s recent legalization of medicinal marijuana directed the FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) to create statewide impaired-driving education, to establish baseline data on the number of marijuana-related DUI citations, traffic arrests, accidents and fatalities, and to track those figures annually.“Drive Baked, Get Busted” is the new advertising campaign from the FDOT. TV commercials recently began airing, and billboards were erected, targeting drug-impaired drivers.
According to a report released in January 2018, the “Drive Baked, Get Busted” campaign is primarily targeting motorists between 18 and 34 and 55 and 74 years old.
$5 million was set aside by Florida lawmakers for the campaign in the 2017 – 2018 fiscal year. The goal of the “Drive Baked, Get Busted” campaign is to educate Floridians about the dangers of impaired driving and to promote awareness of impaired driving laws.
According to a research study done by the University of Florida in early 2018, more than one in three (36.5 percent) of respondents said that they are “not at all knowledgeable” about legal issues related to marijuana use and driving in Florida. Overall, about two in three (65.7 percent) of respondents correctly said it is true that driving under the influence of marijuana is always illegal in Florida. Nearly one in four (23.2 percent) of respondents were unsure of whether driving under the influence of marijuana is always illegal in Florida.
It has been found that marijuana is the most prevalent drug detected in impaired drivers. Research indicates that marijuana has been detected in fatally injured drivers and other motor vehicle crash victims.
WPTV5 in Palm Beach reported on May 23, 2018 that there still is difficulty in testing for marijuana impairment. No test currently in use can prove someone is driving while high on drugs even though there are several ways of proving a driver is alcohol-impaired. The WPTV5 report said that blood, urine or saliva tests can show if people have THC, the chemical compound in marijuana, in their system, but they do not show if people are still actually high. Without any reliable test to hold up in court, it may be difficult to prove.
Hound Labs, a scientific research and device company in Oakland, California says it has developed an “ultra-sensitive technology for non-invasive breath measurement, the Hound® marijuana breathalyzer.” According to Hound Labs the breathalyzer can “accurately, and inexpensively measure recent marijuana use and alcohol in a person’s breath.”
What are the effects of marijuana on driving?
NCADD (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence) says that drugged driving poses threats to public safety that are similar to alcohol (or worse) because drugs have adverse effects on judgment, reaction time, motor skills, and memory. When misused, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and illegal drugs can impair perception, judgment, motor skills, and memory.
Driving while impaired is illegal.
In Florida, a person is guilty of DUI if he or she is driving under the influence of any controlled substance to the extent that the person's normal facilities are impaired. If death or serious bodily injury results, a chemical test is required, and an officer may use reasonable force, if necessary, to obtain a blood sample should the driver refuse.
By driving in Florida, one has implied consent to a blood and/or urine test. A refusal to submit to this test is a misdemeanor and can be punishable by a one-year suspended license and one year in jail; a subsequent refusal can revoke one’s license for 18 months. The results of the test may be admissible as evidence in a court of law.
“Should you or a loved one be injured as a result of an accident, contact our experienced legal team at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. to determine your rights,” said Fort Myers DUI Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey.
Fort Myers DUI Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.