Ryan Malone, forward for the Tampa Bay Lightning, was arrested for DUI and cocaine possession early Saturday morning. Malone was seen making a left hand turn from the center lane. He hit the curb while making the turn. Malone refused roadside tests, but did agree to a breath test to determine his BAC level. The results showed a BAC of .112 and .116. The legal limit for DUI in Florida is 0.08.
During the arrest, officers found 1.3 grams of suspected cocaine in Malone’s back pocket. The officers were likely conducting a safety patdown when they located the suspected cocaine. Officers must not have suspected that Malone was under the influence of cocaine because Malone was not required to take a blood test. Breath tests cannot detect the presence if drugs in the system.
Colorado’s express consent law allows officers to require people they suspect are under the influence of drugs to submit to a blood test. Under these circumstances, the person would be charged with DUID. Unlike DUI’s involving alcohol, there is no per se limit as to the amount of drug in the system. For this reason, DUI drug cases can be more difficult for the prosecution to prove. Sometimes a drug recognition expert will be called to the scene to evaluate the driver to try to determine the type of drug the driver has used, but the science behind the evaluation completed is questionable. In addition, because there is no per se, or set, limit for drugs, the prosecution will usually have to call an expert witness to testify about whether the amount of drug in the system would have caused the person to be under the influence.