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The Florida Statutes

The 2019 Florida Statutes

Title XXXIII
REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, INVESTMENTS, AND SOLICITATIONS
Chapter 550
PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING
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F.S. 550.24055
550.24055 Use of controlled substances or alcohol prohibited; testing of certain occupational licensees; penalty; evidence of test or action taken and admissibility for criminal prosecution limited.
(1) The use of a controlled substance as defined in chapter 893 or of alcohol by any occupational licensees officiating at or participating in a race or jai alai game is prohibited.
(2) The occupational licensees, by applying for and holding such licenses, are deemed to have given their consents to submit to an approved chemical test of their breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of their blood and to a urine or blood test for the purpose of detecting the presence of controlled substances. Such tests shall only be conducted upon reasonable cause that a violation has occurred as shall be determined solely by the stewards at a horseracing meeting or the judges or board of judges at a dogtrack or jai alai meet. The failure to submit to such test may result in a suspension of the person’s occupational license for a period of 10 days or until this section has been complied with, whichever is longer.
(a) If there was at the time of the test 0.05 percent or less by weight of alcohol in the person’s blood, the person is presumed not to have been under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that the person’s normal faculties were impaired, and no action of any sort may be taken by the stewards, judges, or board of judges or the division.
(b) If there was at the time of the test an excess of 0.05 percent but less than 0.08 percent by weight of alcohol in the person’s blood, that fact does not give rise to any presumption that the person was or was not under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that the person’s faculties were impaired, but the stewards, judges, or board of judges may consider that fact in determining whether or not the person will be allowed to officiate or participate in any given race or jai alai game.
(c) If there was at the time of the test 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the person’s blood, that fact is prima facie evidence that the person was under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that the person’s normal faculties were impaired, and the stewards or judges may take action as set forth in this section, but the person may not officiate at or participate in any race or jai alai game on the day of such test.

All tests relating to alcohol must be performed in a manner substantially similar, or identical, to the provisions of s. 316.1934 and rules adopted pursuant to that section. Following a test of the urine or blood to determine the presence of a controlled substance as defined in chapter 893, if a controlled substance is found to exist, the stewards, judges, or board of judges may take such action as is permitted in this section.

(3) A violation of subsection (2) is subject to the following penalties:
(a) For the first violation, the stewards, judges, or board of judges may suspend a licensee for up to 10 days or in the alternative may impose a civil fine of up to $500 in lieu of a suspension.
(b) For a second violation within 1 year after the first violation the stewards, judges, or board of judges may suspend a licensee for up to 30 days and in addition to or in lieu of suspension may impose a civil fine of up to $2,000.

In lieu of or in addition to the foregoing penalties, the stewards, judges, or board of judges may require the licensee to participate in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program and to be retested.

(c) If the second violation occurred within 1 year after the first violation, then upon the finding of a third violation of this section within 1 year after the second violation, the stewards, judges, or board of judges may suspend the licensee for up to 120 days; and the stewards, judges, or board of judges shall forward the results of the tests under paragraphs (a) and (b) and this violation to the division. In addition to the action taken by the stewards, judges, or board of judges, the division, after a hearing, may deny, suspend, or revoke the occupational license of the licensee and may impose a civil penalty of up to $5,000 in addition to, or in lieu of, a suspension or revocation, it being the intent of the Legislature that the division shall have no authority over the enforcement of this section until a licensee has committed the third violation within 2 years after the first violation.
(4) The provisions of s. 120.80(4)(a) apply to all actions taken by the stewards, judges, or board of judges pursuant to this section without regard to the limitation contained therein.
(5) This section does not apply to the possession and use of controlled or chemical substances that are prescribed as part of the care and treatment of a disease or injury by a practitioner licensed under chapter 458, chapter 459, part I of chapter 464, or chapter 466.
(6) Evidence of any test or actions taken by the stewards, judges, or board of judges or the division under this section is inadmissible for any purpose in any court for criminal prosecution, it being the intent of the Legislature to provide a method and means by which the health, safety, and welfare of those officiating at or participating in a race meet or a jai alai game are sufficiently protected. However, this subsection does not prohibit any person so authorized from pursuing an independent investigation as a result of a ruling made by the stewards, judges, or board of judges, or the division.
History.s. 26, ch. 92-348; s. 26, ch. 96-330; s. 249, ch. 96-410; s. 138, ch. 2000-318; s. 24, ch. 2000-354.