Driving under the influence of drugs

by | Nov 1, 2013 | Lawyers

A typical DUI offense refers to alcohol consumption above the legal limit, but alcohol is not the only substance that has the ability to impair ones suitability to operate a motor vehicle. Drugs, both prescription and illegal can have the same effect as alcohol and both can lead to DUI charges being filed and in both cases a DUI drugs lawyer in West Georgia should be contacted.

It means nothing to the court if the drug that you were taking was marijuana or a muscle relaxer that was obtained by prescription, both are illegal and can be classified as a DUI offense and using “doctor’s orders” as defense will not work.

Measuring impairment:

Measuring impairment by alcohol is quite straight forward as there are tests that can be given to a person suspected of impaired driving, these tests can be breath, urine or blood with blood tests being the most accurate. At the time an officer stops a suspect a breath test is often used, if the reading is equal to or in access of 0.08 you can expect either a guilty plea or conviction if the arrest was conducted properly.

These tests do not work when the suspect is suspected of drug use.

It is simple enough to measure the presence of drugs by conducting a urine test but the presence of drugs is not conclusive as to when the drugs were consumed. The active component of marijuana is THC, it can still show up in a urine test up to five weeks after use and even cocaine is still measurable after a couple of days after consumption. These results are not admissible in court and a DUI drugs lawyer in West Georgia know it.

Determining the impairment that the drug has on the individual when arrested is usually done by police officers who have been trained to determine the level of impairment by observation. These officers can detect various clues that point to impairment, things such as eye movement and behavioral patterns.

The inability to determine exactly if an individual is incapable of driving due to the influence of drugs makes prosecution difficult. States, including Georgia have enacted “per se” laws which simple make it an offense to operate a vehicle with any detectable drug in the system.

James B. Head, Attorney at Law, LLC have experience in defending felony, Misdemeanors and traffic crimes in West Georgia.

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