Most people who are stopped or arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida will not be asked to submit to urine tests because breath testing is typically the much quicker and easier way to determine a person’s blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC). Urinalysis may be required in suspected “drugged driving” cases in which alleged offenders are believed to be under the influence of a chemical or other controlled substance that would not appear in a breath test.
A urine test is not considered as invasive as a blood draw, but it is also usually not as accurate. Any one of a number of errors committed in the administration of a urine test or the storage or testing of the sample could impact the validity of the results and possibly lead to the test being declared inadmissible in court.
Lawyer for Urine Test Defense in West Palm Beach, FL
Were you arrested for a DUI offense in the greater Palm Beach County area after submitting to a urine test? You will want to make sure you contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A. as soon as possible.
West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell aggressively defend clients in communities throughout Broward County, Miami-Dade County, and Palm Beach County, including Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Greenacres, Boca Raton, and many others. Call (561) 557-8686 right now to have our lawyers review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.
Overview of Urine Tests in Palm Beach County
- When a Person May Submit to a Urine Test in Florida
- Types of Problems with Florida Urine Tests
- Palm Beach County Urine Test Resources
When a Person May Submit to a Urine Test in Florida
Whereas Florida Statute § 316.1932 (1)(a)1.a establishes a motorist’s obligation to submit to a requested breath test as the result of being a licensed driver in Florida, Florida Statute § 316.1932 (1)(a)1.b similarly states that the same licensed driver is expected to submit to a urine test when a law enforcement officer arrests him or her for any offense allegedly committed while that person was driving or was in actual or physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of a chemical or controlled substance.
An officer is required to inform an alleged offender that failure to submit to a lawful test of his or her urine will result in a one-year suspension of his or her driver’s license for a first refusal and other penalties if the person has previously refused test requests. A urine test is usually ordered only in cases in which people are suspected of being under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs, and the urine test is commonly conducted after a person has already submitted to a breath test.
In some cases, arresting officers may summon for the assistance of a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) in evaluating an alleged offender and conducting urine tests. All people should understand that even when a urine test indicates that a person had a controlled substance in his or her system, the supposedly failed test is not necessarily evidence that substance was active at the time of the alleged offense.
Types of Problems with Florida Urine Tests
The major problem with urinalysis is that while the tests can prove a person consumed certain substances, the test results do not always indicate when that substance was consumed. As a result, it can be very difficult for a prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person who submitted to a urine test and tested positive for a controlled substance was actually under the influence of that controlled substance while driving.
The Mayo Clinic states that the average detection times for some common controlled substances include:
|Type of Drug||Detection Time|
|Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)||One day|
|3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy, or Molly)||Two days|
|Marijuana (single use)||Three days|
|Marijuana (moderate use, or multiple times per week)||Five days|
|Phencyclidine (PCP)||Eight days|
|Marijuana (heavy or daily use)||10 days|
|Marijuana (chronic heavy use)||30 days|
Even if a person does test positive for a controlled substance, it should not be automatically assumed that the test result was accurate. In some cases, any one of a number of common errors can cause or contribute to possible false positives, including but not limited to:
- Improper storage of sample;
- Faulty or expired testing kit;
- Sample too diluted;
- Chain of custody issues;
- Labeling or sealing issues;
- Tampering with specimen; and
- Contaminated sample.
Palm Beach County Urine Test Resources
Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients and Public Assistance — The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is a bipartisan non-governmental organization established to serve the members and staff of state legislatures of the United States. View a March 2017 NCSL article discussing state legislation for drug testing or screening of public assistance applicants or recipients. As the article notes, Florida was one of at least 15 states to impose such requirements, but the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2014 upheld a District Court ruling that permanently stopped enforcement of the law after determining it violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches.
Drugs of Abuse: Approximate Detection Times | Mayo Medical Laboratories — The Mayo Clinic is “a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing.” Assays and algorithms of Mayo Medical Laboratories are jointly developed by Mayo Clinic laboratory experts and Mayo Clinic physicians around each patient’s medical diagnosis and treatment. View the full text of a Mayo Medical Laboratories document that provides an overview of approximate detection times of various drugs of abuse as it relates to blood and urine testing. Each drug types includes additional information about interpretation and metabolites.
Find a Urine Test Defense Attorney in West Palm Beach, FL
If you were arrested for drunk or drugged driving in South Florida after submitting to a urine test, it is in your best interest to contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A. as soon as possible.
Our criminal defense lawyers in West Palm Beach represent individuals in Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Riviera Beach, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, and many other surrounding areas of Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County. You can have our attorneys provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (561) 557-8686 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.