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Drug DUI

Palm Beach and Broward Attorneys for DUI Cases Involving Drugs

The number of DUI cases involving the use of drugs continues to soar each year. The increase is primarily attributable to the rise in prescription drug cases. These cases require the services of a skilled DUI defense attorney to challenge any evidence of drug use.

These cases are complicated because they revolve around an officer's opinion testimony, a drug recognition expert's testimony (if applicable in the case), and scientific evidence from a urine or blood test through the testimony of a forensic toxicologist.

West Palm Beach Drug DUI Lawyer

After an arrest for driving under the influence of any chemical or controlled substance in Palm Beach County or Broward County, contact an attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. With offices located in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, we provide an aggressive defense in these cases throughout the area, including Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Hollywood, and Pembroke Pines. Call to discuss your case today.


Overview of DUI Cases Involving Controlled Substances


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The Quantitative Analysis in the Drug DUI Case

Florida does not require a test to quantify the amount of drugs in a person's body in a driving under the influence case. Instead, the prosecutor must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that your normal faculties were impaired by prescription drugs (or a combination of other controlled substance and/or alcohol). In many of these cases, proving impairment for the drugs are difficult for the prosecutor with the State Attorney's office.

In many of these cases, the prosecutor does not have evidence to quantify the amount of prescription drugs in the body, such as oxycodone, Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. Urine tests can show the presence of the prescription drugs, but not the quantity or whether that amount of drugs in the body would cause impairment. A blood test is often the only reliable way for the prosecutor to bring forth evidence of a quantitative analysis.

In addition, many substances found in a person’s system may not be classified as a “controlled substance” or “chemical substance”. For example, a person who is found to be impaired by Ambient and/or Benadryl may be operating a vehicle in a “reckless” manner, but is not, with those substances on their own, committing the crime of DUI.


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No Administrative Suspension in DUI Drug Cases

Because Florida does not have a per se version of drug DUI, there is no administrative suspension of your driver's license if you submit to the requested chemical test. If you refused testing, the officer can administratively suspend your driver's license and issue a notice of suspension on your DUI citation.

If you are accused of DUI refusal, then you have only 10 days to request a formal review hearing to protect your driver's license. Call us to discuss the options and whether you are eligible for a "waiver review hearing" for immediate reinstatement or whether you should demand a formal review hearing to contest the suspension.


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The So-Called Drug Recognition Expert

Law enforcement officers in the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office often use drug recognition experts (DREs) that are called to the scene. These officers have undergone additional training focused on collecting evidence of impairment due to drugs. However, not many officers throughout Palm Beach County are certified DRE’s. For this reason, the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. will move to exclude any testimony regarding the results of the HGN and/or VGN tasks due to the officer’s inability to testify to that scientific matter. State v. Meador is the case on point which holds that testimony inadmissible in court during a trial.

These officers are looking for evidence of the drivers:

  • an erratic driving pattern;
  • the driver's physical appearance;
  • performance on standardized field sobriety exercises; and
  • admissions of drinking or consuming drugs.

After looking for that evidence from a driver, a task is then requested called a Horizontal Gaze and/or a Vertical Gaze Nystagmus.  This task must be administered properly.  Although almost all officer administers it, the task does not come into evidence in a trial unless the officer is certified.  There are not many certified officers, so leave it to our lawyers to move to exclude that evidence at the appropriate time in your case.


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Drug DUI Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale

If you were arrested for driving under the influence, and the arresting officer alleged that you were under the influence of drugs, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. We represent clients for driving under the influence in Palm Beach County and Broward County.

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Client Testimonials for Meltzer & Bell, P.A.
Client Testimonials
  • ...A long weekend vacation in Palm Beach resulted in the potential for serious consequences that could have set me back in unimaginative ways. M+B was a truly incredible legal advocate and was always accessible within minutes to answer questions and discuss the progress of the case within the system - truly remarkable. I could not have retained better legal representation in my case in Palm Beach County.

    Anonymous
  • I just had to commend you on the outstanding job you did on behalf of your client in court yesterday. If my clients were ever to ask me if I know of a good DUI defense attorney, I know to whom I can refer them!

    A.A.
  • I was facing hard prison time and punishment. [Larry] did everything to pull strings and get me into rehab. After meeting with many therapists I finally got one to diagnose me successfully with Bipolar. Thanks to Larry I have been sober since 6/19/09. My health is great and my family life is amazing. It's because he saw something in me and my family that I wasn't just an alcoholic there was something that told me it was something else.

    A.P.
  • I was charged with a felony and facing the scary thought of losing my job, but thank you Attorney Steven Bell for helping me. Now I’m able to keep my job and take care of my family. I am truly amazed by your service, and you for understanding what I have to deal with. To me I’m very impressed by way you handled my case and was here to listen and make things OK!

    Y.E.
  • Mr. Steven Bell, Words cant explain how thankful I am for you and your firm. I was facing felony charges and even looking at doing 5 years in jail! Not only did you fight for me, you got my case dismissed and dropped. For that, I don't have words to say “thank you” you were always kind and believed in me. You looked for every opportunity and you won! Thank you for being my guardian angel in disguise and steering me in the right direction. You are forever my “too go guy” thank you soooo much!

    A.L.
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