Florida’s New Proposed DWI Law
Did you know that the offense of Driving While Intoxicated was abolished by statute in Florida?
Thereafter, the Florida Traffic Court Rule 6.110 was amended in 1990 to delete any reference to DWI. In an amendment in 1998, Rule 6.110 was changed to bring subdivision (a) into conformity with the statutory language in section 322.282, Florida Statute, which states “substance abuse education course” rather than a “DWI Counter Attack School.”
Over the years, the Florida legislature has considered proposed legislation to change Florida DUI standards to a broader DWI standard. Again in 2013, legislation was introduced to make sweeping changes to Florida’s DUI laws – 2014 Florida House Bill 299 was introduced in November of 2013.
Under this proposed legislation, Section 2 of Section 316.193, Florida Statutes, would be amended to read:
under the influence; penalties.–
Florida’s 2012 Proposed DWI Law in SB 1810
Introduced on January 1, 2012, by Senator Stephen R. Wise, Republican, Senate Bill 1810 proposed changing Florida’s DUI standard to a DWI standard. No companion bill is was introduced in the Florida House of representatives although this bill was forwarded to three committees. If passed it would have become law on July 1, 2012.
The bill changed the term “under the influence of alcohol” to “impaired by an alcoholic beverage” each time it appeared. It also made it a crime to drive with any detectible controlled substance or one of its metabolites in the blood or urine.
Although this bill died, in it is likely that another version of it will be reintroduced in the coming years.
Florida Senate - 2012 SB 1810 5-00253C-12 20121810__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to driving a motor vehicle while 3 impaired; amending s. 316.003, F.S.; defining the 4 terms “drive” and “impair” or “impaired”; amending s. 5 316.193, F.S.; providing that a person commits the 6 offense of driving while impaired and is subject to 7 punishment for such violation if the person is driving 8 a motor vehicle and satisfies the specified criteria 9 relating to the consumption of alcohol, controlled 10 substances, or other impairing substances; providing 11 that a person commits the offense of driving while 12 impaired if the person has in the blood or urine 13 certain controlled substances in specified 14 circumstances; providing that a person is entitled to 15 an affirmative defense to the offense of driving while 16 impaired if the person charged with the offense of 17 driving while impaired introduced a controlled 18 substance into his or her body pursuant to a 19 prescription issued by a licensed health professional 20 who is authorized to prescribe the controlled 21 substance and if the person consumed the controlled 22 substance in accordance with the health professional’s 23 directions; providing that the use of a nonprescribed 24 substance does not constitute an affirmative defense 25 for a person who has a prescription for another 26 substance; providing that alcohol or a legal impairing 27 substance does not constitute a defense against a 28 charge of driving while impaired under certain 29 circumstances; amending ss. 187.201, 261.20, 310.101, 30 316.027, 316.1932, 316.1933, 316.1934, 316.1937, 31 316.1939, 318.143, 318.17, 320.055, 322.12, 322.25, 32 322.26, 322.2615, 320.2616, 322.271, 322.2715, 322.28, 33 322.291, 322.34, 322.61, 322.62, 322.63, 324.023, 34 337.195, 401.281, and 401.445, F.S.; revising 35 provisions to conform to changes made by the act; 36 providing an effective date. 37 38 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 39 40 Section 1.Subsections (89) and (90) are added to section 41 316.003, Florida Statutes, to read: 42 316.003 Definitions.—The following words and phrases, when 43 used in this chapter, shall have the meanings respectively 44 ascribed to them in this section, except where the context 45 otherwise requires: 46 (89) DRIVE.—To operate or be in actual physical control of 47 a vehicle. 48 (90) IMPAIR OR IMPAIRED.—To weaken or diminish a person’s 49 physical or mental abilities, including, but not limited to, the 50 person’s balance, coordination, reflexes, memory, and 51 comprehension, and the person’s ability to see, hear, walk, 52 talk, judge distances, act in an emergency, follow directions, 53 multitask, and, in general, perform the many mental and physical 54 acts of daily life. 55 Section 2. Section 316.193, Florida Statutes, is amended to 56 read: 57 316.193 Driving while impaired
under the influence; 58 penalties.— 59 (1) A person commits is guilty ofthe offense of driving 60 while impaired under the influenceand is subject to punishment 61 as provided in subsection (2) if the person is driving or in62 actual physical control ofa vehicle anywhere within this state 63 and: 64 (a) The person is impaired by an under the influence of65 alcoholic beverage beverages, a anychemical substance 66 identified set forthin s. 877.111, a or any substance67 controlled substance as defined in underchapter 893 or the 68 Federal Register, any other impairing substance, or a 69 combination of these items when affected to the extent that the70 person’s normal faculties are impaired; 71 (b) The person has an alcohol concentration a blood-alcohol72 levelof 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of 73 blood or per 210 liters of breath at the time of driving or 74 anytime after driving as a result of alcohol consumed before or 75 during driving; or76 (c) The person has in the blood or urine a substance 77 identified as a controlled substance as defined in Schedule I of 78 chapter 893 or the Federal Register, or one of its metabolites 79 or analogs; or a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of80 alcohol per 210 liters of breath.81 (d) The person has in the blood or urine a substance 82 identified as a controlled substance in Schedule II, Schedule 83 III, or Schedule IV of chapter 893 or the Federal Register, or 84 one of its metabolites or analogs....
520 (15)(a) If a person who is charged with violating 521 subsection (1)(d) introduced into his or her body a controlled 522 substance prescribed by a licensed health professional 523 authorized to prescribe the controlled substance and if the 524 person consumed the controlled substance in accordance with the 525 health professional’s directions, the person is entitled to an 526 affirmative defense against any allegation that the person 527 violated subsection (1)(d). The introduction of a nonprescribed 528 substance into the person’s body does not constitute an 529 affirmative defense with respect to any nonprescribed substance. 530 (b) Except for paragraph (a), the fact that a person 531 charged with violating subsection (1) is or was legally entitled 532 to introduce into the human body alcohol, a chemical substance, 533 a controlled substance, a medication, a drug, or any other 534 impairing substance does not constitute a defense against any 535 charge of violating subsection (1).
1044 Section 9. Subsections (1) and (2) of section 316.1934, 1045 Florida Statutes, are amended to read: 1046 316.1934 Presumption of impairment; testing methods.— 1047 (1) It is unlawful and punishable as provided in chapter 1048 322 and in s. 316.193 for a
anyperson who is impaired by or 1049 under the influence of an alcoholic beverage beveragesor a 1050 controlled substance substances, when affected to the extent 1051 that the person is person’s normal faculties areimpaired or to 1052 the extent that the person is deprived of his or her abilities 1053 full possession of normal faculties,to drive or be in actual 1054 physical control of a anymotor vehicle within this state. Such 1055 abilities normal f acultiesinclude, but are not limited to, the 1056 ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an 1057 automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies, and, in general, 1058 normally perform the many mental and physical acts of daily 1059 life. 1060 (2) At the trial of any civil or criminal action or 1061 proceeding arising out of an act actsalleged to have been 1062 committed by a anyperson while driving, or being in actual 1063 physical control of, a vehicle while impaired by or under the 1064 influence of an alcoholic beverage beveragesor a controlled 1065 substance substances, when affected to the extent that the 1066 person’s abilities normal facultieswere impaired or to the 1067 extent that he or she was deprived of full possession of his or 1068 her abilities normal f aculties, the results of any test 1069 administered in accordance with s. 316.1932 or s. 316.1933 and 1070 this section are admissible into evidence when otherwise 1071 admissible, and the amount of alcohol in the person’s blood or 1072 breath at the time alleged, as shown by chemical analysis of the 1073 person’sblood, or by chemical or physical test of the person’s1074 breath, gives rise to the following presumptions: 1075 (a) If the there was at that time ablood-alcohol level or 1076 breath-alcohol level was of0.05 or less, it is presumed that 1077 the person was not impaired by under the influence ofan 1078 alcoholic beverage beveragesto the extent that his or her 1079 abilities normal facultieswere impaired. 1080 (b) If the there was at that time ablood-alcohol level or 1081 breath-alcohol level was in excess of 0.05 but less than 0.08, 1082 that fact does not give rise to any presumption that the person 1083 was or was not impaired by under the influence ofan alcoholic 1084 beverage beveragesto the extent that his or her abilities 1085 normal facultieswere impaired but may be considered with other 1086 competent evidence in determining whether the person was 1087 impaired by an under the influence ofalcoholic beverage 1088 beveragesto the extent that his or her abilities normal1089 facultieswere impaired. 1090 (c) If the there was at that time ablood-alcohol level or 1091 breath-alcohol level was of0.08 or higher, that fact is prima 1092 facie evidence that the person was impaired by an under the1093 influence ofalcoholic beverage beveragesto the extent that his 1094 or her abilities normal facultieswere impaired. Moreover, a 1095 suchperson who has a blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol 1096 level of 0.08 or higher commits the offense is guiltyof 1097 driving, or being in actual physical control of, a motor 1098 vehicle ,with an unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol 1099 level. 1100 1101 The presumptions provided in this subsection do not limit the 1102 introduction of any other competent evidence bearing upon the 1103 question of whether the person was impaired by an under the1104 influence ofalcoholic beverage beveragesto the extent that his 1105 or her abilities normal facultieswere impaired.
1933 Section 32. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.