Many people believe that they can only get a DUI if they are under the influence of alcohol at the time of a traffic stop. However, this is not the case. An individual can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs or any other substance that may impair that person. In most cases, the consequences for driving under the influence of drugs is the same as driving under the influence of alcohol.
What If I Took Legal Drugs?
The law doesn’t care if the drug that you took was legal or not when it was in your system. If it works to impair your ability to drive safely, you could be charged with a DUI. This may be true even if you didn’t know that a medication could lead to impairment either by itself or in combination with other medications that you were taking at the time.
Is There An Exception for Medical Marijuana?
If an individual has the right to take marijuana for medical purposes, it may be legal to possess it in an automobile. However, it is still generally illegal to be under the influence of the drug for any reason while operating a motor vehicle. Therefore, an individual may still be charged with a drug DUI even if other drug charges are not included.
What If I Wasn’t Actually Impaired?
Whenever a police officer feels that a driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she may ask to conduct a blood test. It is possible that trace amounts of a drug may remain in a person’s system even if he or she is no longer feeling its effects. Marijuana can stay in a person’s system for days or weeks after its effect wears off. However, if a driver tests positive for drugs, it may lead to a DUI charge even if that individual is not impaired.
What If There Is No Evidence a Drug Causes Impairment?
There is some debate as to whether or not a drug like marijuana actually impairs the ability of an individual to operate a motor vehicle. However, most states say that drivers cannot have marijuana or most other drugs in their system while driving. Therefore, even if an individual believes that it is safe to drive, he or she could still be at risk of getting a DUI.
What If an Officer Didn’t Have Probable Cause to Stop a Vehicle?
When a person is charged with driving under the influence of drugs or any other substance, the decision to do so must be based on adequate evidence. However, any evidence gathered illegally or without probable cause to do so may be suppressed before a trial. For instance, if you weren’t doing anything illegal prior to a traffic stop, the officer would have no reason to stop a vehicle. Therefore, there would be no reason to search the vehicle or otherwise find evidence of drug use or impairment.
Can Officers Conduct Drug Tests Without a Warrant?
Those who are suspected of being under the influence of drugs may be compelled to submit to a urine or blood test. However, it may be necessary to get a warrant before conducting such a test. Implied consent laws generally only apply to Breathalyzer tests, and there is no such test that can reliably indicate if someone is impaired by a drug. If there is no warrant, it may be possible to refuse a test, which may strengthen a person’s ability to have a charge dismissed.
What If I’m Experiencing a Medical Emergency?
There are times in which a driver may be experiencing a medical emergency that may make it look like a driver is impaired. Those who experience seizures or other symptoms routinely may want to wear a bracelet or some other item that will tell police to seek help. This may prevent an individual from spending a night in jail as opposed to going to the hospital for needed treatment.
Those who have been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana or other drugs may benefit from talking with an attorney. It may be possible to have a charge dropped or reduced. This may help a person avoid having a DUI charge on his or her record. It may also allow a driver to avoid jail time or other serious penalties associated with a drunk driving charge.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Learn more about DUI by reading this wikipedia page.