Switch to ADA Accessible Website
Orlando Criminal Lawyer

Florida’s Expensive “Drive Baked, Get Busted” Campaign Highlights Issues with Identifying and Prosecuting Drivers Impaired By Marijuana


The state of Florida’s recent efforts to put up “Drive Baked, Get Busted” billboards, posters, and radio and video ads have reportedly cost the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles approximately $3.2 million. However, the campaign  also highlights a very important gap in knowledge that the state suffers from when it comes to recognizing whether someone is actually driving under the influence of marijuana.

Not only has the state of Florida never actually tracked how many marijuana-related crashes there have been—and thus whether it’s an actual public safety issue—but there is also a significant problem with law enforcement trying to detect whether someone is driving while under the influence of marijuana. In fact, many are calling this expensive campaign more of an attack on medicinal marijuana users versus an actual education/public safety campaign.

Florida’s Current Statistics Involve Presumptions

Here is what the state of Florida does know—in 2016, 671 people were killed in Florida due to impaired drivers, where:

  • 42 percent were killed by drivers under the influence of alcohol;
  • 31 percent were killed by drivers impaired by drugs (what type of drug, however, the state does not know); and
  • 27 percent were killed by those presumed to be both drunk and high.

Identifying Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana Still Very Subjective

And yet, no roadside test—or technology—can actually prove that a driver is impaired by marijuana. According to some officers who have been interviewed, they simply make a subjective judgment because “it’s obvious from the get-go.” Those same officers have said that the first sign they look for in deciding whether or not to pull someone over is the “struggling to multitask” (weaving in and out of lanes, going too fast or too slow, etc.). Once someone has been pulled over, officers reportedly look for any bloodshot, diluted, or watery eyes, fluttering eyelids, an inability to cross their eyes, sluggish reactions, slurred speech and/or the smell of burnt marijuana. However, many of these signs are also present in alcohol impairment.

Fighting Claims of Driving Under Influence of Marijuana

In Florida, drivers can refuse to do field sobriety exercises or physical tests without penalty. However, if a driver refuses to submit to a Breathalyzer and a blood or urine test, they risk a one-year license suspension.

While the .08 percent blood-alcohol level is a fairly cut-and-dry standard across the board, things get more complicated when it comes to marijuana: While tests can detect THC in blood and urine, it can also stay in their system for days, weeks, or months, making these test results relatively challengeable in criminal defense cases.

Experienced Florida DUI Criminal Defense Attorneys

In order for law enforcement to actually prove impairment, an officer must first be trained as a drug recognition expert, and use a very specific 12-step process to determine whether a driver is impaired by marijuana. They then present that testimony in court.

If you have been unfairly accused of driving under the influence of marijuana, contact our experienced Florida DUI criminal defense attorneys at the Baez Law Firm today to find out how we can help.



  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Miami Office

1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1410
Miami, FL 33131
Office: 305-999-5100
Fax: 305-999-5111

Orlando Office

250 N Orange Ave, Suite 750
Orlando, FL 32801
Office: 407-705-2626
Fax: 407-705-2625

Email Us

Fields Marked * Are required

DISCLAIMER: Completing and submitting this form or otherwise merely contacting The Baez Law Firm or any individual at the firm will not establish an attorney/client relationship. Our firm cannot represent you until we determine that there would be no conflict of interest and that we are otherwise able to accept representation of your case. Please do not send any information or documents until a formal attorney/client relationship has been established through an interview with an attorney and you have been given authorization in the form of an engagement letter with The Baez Law Firm. Any information or documents sent via this form or otherwise prior to your receipt of an engagement letter will not be treated as confidences, secrets, or protected information of any nature. Submitting information regarding your potential case will not bar The Baez Law Firm from representing or continuing to represent a person or entity whose interest are adverse to your in condition with your case.

protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy - Terms
Please review the highlighted fields. They are required.
DISCLAIMER: This website contains information about The Baez Law Firm that includes testimonial statements from persons who are familiar with the firm's services. The testimonials shown are not necessarily representative of every person's experience with us. Testimonials from every client are not provided. As no two situations or persons are identical, the facts and circumstances of your situation may differ from those for which testimonials are shown. This website also includes information about some of the past results that we have obtained for our clients. Not all results are provided, and the results shown are not necessarily representative of all results obtained by us. No two situation are exactly alike; every person's situation is unique and the outcome for each person depends on the individual facts.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2015 - 2024 Baez Law Firm. All rights reserved.
This law firm website and legal marketing are managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab Contact Form Tab