Florida Man Says Cocaine Baggie Flew in Through Window
Police say they pulled over a motorist who they saw drinking a 40 oz bottle of beer in his vehicle. The man had allegedly rolled through a stop sign while attempting to hide his very large beer. The police conducted a search of the vehicle and found an empty baggie with residue that tests showed was a match for crack or cocaine. The man insisted that the baggie wasn’t his and that it must have blown into his car through the open window.
Police allege that the man was found drinking in his car in a hotel parking lot that is an apparent hot bed for illegal drug activity and prostitution. Suspect Joseph Zak has been charged with DUI, open container violations, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Driving With an Open Container of Beer is Illegal in Florida
No one should probably have to tell you this, but driving with an open container of alcohol is illegal in Florida. In fact, you can be charged even if the open container is not sitting in your lap while you’re driving the car. Open containers are defined as any alcoholic beverage with a broken seal. This can include wine, whiskey, or beer. Even passengers are not allowed to have open containers inside a vehicle. It’s unlawful even if the car is not moving.
In order to travel with an open container in Florida, the open container must either be in the trunk or in a locked glove box. It can’t be resting on the seat or within reach of the driver. Worse still, these statutes can become more restrictive based on the county or municipality in which your traveling. The State of Florida sets a minimum for open container rules but allows counties to adopt more restrictive rules at their discretion.
Open container violations are considered non-moving violations and are usually subject to $60 fines.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Florida
Possession of drug paraphernalia is first-degree misdemeanor in the state of Florida. Drug paraphernalia can include things like pipes and bowls, but it also includes baggies as well. In other words, you can be charged for carrying an empty baggie around with you.
As a matter of legal technicality, “paraphernalia” includes any item with the express purpose of being used for illegal drug activity.
What about the DUI?
Drivers who are brazen enough to carry around bottles of beer while they’re driving around are very often charged with DUI. The police will still need to take a blood test to prove that the driver was over the legal limit, but if the driver tests positive for cocaine in his system, that could also be used as evidence that the driver was under the influence, even if the driver hadn’t smoked any crack in the past few days.
Talk to an Orlando DUI Attorney Today
If an empty bag of crack happens to fly into your window, then you’ll need an attorney to fight the many charges you will face. Talk to the Florida DUI defense attorneys at the FL DUI Group today to set up an appointment and we can begin working on your defense immediately.