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  • Writer's pictureAttorney Joseph Soler

Can I be convicted of DUI simply because I have a controlled substance in my blood or urine?

In order to convict you of driving under the influence (DUI), the state of Florida must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance to the extent that your normal faculties were impaired.

Florida case law indicates that simply having alcohol, an illegal drug (like cocaine or an opiate), or a controlled substance in your blood or urine is not enough to convict you for DUI—the prosecutor must be able to prove that the alcohol, illegal drug, or controlled substance impaired your normal faculties.

According to Florida Statutes, normal faculties include, but are not limited to, "the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies, and, in general, normally perform the many mental and physical acts of daily life."

This is the supposed reason that officers request one to perform field sobriety exercises on the side of the road when an officer suspects that on is driving under the influence. The field sobriety exercises are supposedly designed to test one's normal faculties.

Please feel free to call us if you have any questions or would like to schedule a free case evaluation.

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