In California, by having a driver’s license, a person has given “implied consent” to take a chemical drug or alcohol test when suspected of DUI. While you can request one type of test over another, such as a breath test over a blood or urine test, refusing a chemical test can result in stiffer penalties if convicted. Keep in mind, however, that for a blood test, a warrant is typically required. While this is the law in California, other states may not have the same law. In Florida, where DUI drugs are on the rise, some people are refusing to take the blood tests to prove intoxication. ABC Action News reports on the story.
Tampa Bay has seen a spike in fatal DUI crashes caused by drugs. These kinds of crashes are up 47% over the past three years. In fact, Tampa Bay leads the state when it comes to drugged crashes, with 465 crashes since 2014. In comparison, during the same time period, Orlando reported 232 and Miami reported 161 crashes.
The most alarming statistic is that 42% of all drug-related crashes take place during daylight hours.
Hours of dashcam footage showing drugged drivers was reviewed. Several of the drivers were merely high on marijuana, but many were high on much more potent drugs.
The investigation also found that many of the drugged drivers are not even being prosecuted, and many do not even lose their driving privileges.
One such driver hit a man, who suffered two spinal fractures after being hit head-on by an intoxicated driver. The driver was charged with three counts of DUI, all of which were later dropped.
The Pasco County State Attorney’s office said that they were unable to prove the driver was intoxicated because he refused to take a blood test.
In Florida, there is also no minimum sentence for first-time DUI offenders.