Across the nation, “sober bars” are rising in popularity, selling drinks like kava and kratom. These places do not serve alcohol, but calling them sober bars is misleading. These drinks do have a narcotic effect on the body, even if that effect is not as severe as street drugs or liquor.
In particular, kava has a sedative effect on your system. It is perfectly legal for now, but it can slow down reaction times and make driving more dangerous.
The law is aware of this fact, and police could use kava as an excuse to arrest you for a DUID, or “driving under the influence of drugs.”
Here are some ways Florida police could link kava tea to a drugged driving charge.
Drugged Driving Has Incomplete Testing
These days, it’s easy to test someone’s blood alcohol content. It’s not so easy to determine if someone is legally high.
When it comes to drugs, blood testing is incomplete. It doesn’t cover every possible drug someone could take. For the drugs they can detect, tests look only for trace amounts.
Therefore, there are several drugs that the cops can link to drugged driving, even if those drugs are legal. If the police believe that any substance impaired your driving, they can arrest you.
Police Often Rely on Their Intuition
Because they cannot test for every possible drug, police often go with their instincts in a drugged driving arrest. They look at someone’s behavior, eyes, and so on. Simply by believing someone is impaired, the cops can take that person in on a drugged driving charge.
The Police Use Your Words as Evidence
Remember, the Miranda warning tells you that “anything you say can and will be used against you.” Take this phrase to heart. Whenever you are pulled over, give the police your name and information. Afterward, keep your mouth closed.
Don’t answer any questions about where you’ve been, where you’re going, or what you have in your cupholder. If you tell the police that you’ve had kava, they can use that as evidence of drugged driving.
Drugged Driving Penalties in Florida
Whether someone is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the penalties are the same.
For a first offense, you could face up to 6 months in jail and fines between $500 and $1,000. You may also be required to serve up to 50 hours of community service. License suspension can last between 6 months and 1 year.
For a second offense within 5 years, jail time rises. You could spend between 10 days and 9 months in lock up. Fines rise to between $1,000 and $2,000. Your license could be revoked for up to 5 years.
For three or more offenses, you could be in jail between 30 days and 5 years. Fines are between $2,000 and $5,000, and a license revocation could last up to 10 years.
If you’ve been accused of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, reach out to our firm today for help. You can contact us online or call us at (904) 701-0591.