Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
When many people think of driving under the influence, the first thing that comes to mind is alcohol. But you can also be charged with driving under the influence of drugs, too. Drugs, like alcohol, affect a person’s mental and physical abilities and can therefore cause a person to drive unsafely. And that’s why driving under the influence is considered a very serious crime in every state.
Driving under the influence of drugs is a broad term and it can refer to any drug (whether legal, illegal or prescribed). Basically, states view a drug as something that can influence a person’s physical and mental capacities enough so that their driving is affected. Believe it or not, a drug can even be considered to be an over-the-counter medication such as cough syrup if it has the potential to impair a person.
While the penalties for driving under the influence of drugs are often very similar to alcohol, there is one difference. Each state has a “per se” law, which makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08% or more. This refers specifically to alcohol, not drugs. This means that your blood alcohol content is not measured in this type of DUI case.
So even if your state’s department of motor vehicles typically suspends a person’s license if they are charged with DUI, many do not have a separate jurisdiction to do so if you are charged with driving under the influence of drugs. This does not mean, however that your license won’t be suspended. The criminal justice system, if you are convicted, is likely to suspend your driver’s license as part of your penalties.
How can I be convicted of driving under the influence of drugs?
There are two types of chemical tests that you could be requested to take: urine and blood. In both of these tests, drugs will be found in your system if they are present. Your test results can be submitted as evidence in court that you were DUI.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs, contact a DUI defense attorney for representation!