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House Bill Cracks Down On Boating, Driving While Under The Influence

David Baldo
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A motorist operating a car or boat could be arrested for driving under the influence, under a measure filed by state Rep. David Silvers, D-West Palm Beach.

The “Driving under the Influence of Drugs Act” (HB 237) would make operating a boat with a blood level of delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of blood — as shown by an analysis of the person's blood — the same as having a blood-alcohol content of .08 or more of alcohol.

Euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, is the active chemical in marijuana.

Under current Florida law, the driver of a car or boat found with a blood-alcohol content at or above .08 faces a fine between $500 and $1,000, along with a six month jail term, on the first offense.

There is no mention in Silvers' measure — which doesn't yet have a Senate companion — of how the blood test would be administered.

The proposal comes after Florida voters in November overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana for patients with a broad swath of medical conditions.

The amendment went into effect on Jan. 3.