Can I Receive a DUI for Consuming Substances Other Than Alcohol?


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In the United States, an average of 1.5 million people are arrested annually for drunk driving. In 2015, an astounding 10,235 people died as a result of driving while drunk. There is a library of statistics and evidence comparing driving under the influence and car accidents.

 

Though alcohol may be the predominant substance consumed in DUI arrests, it is hardly the only substance. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration produced a study which revealed that nearly 18% of all motorist’s fatalities included illegal prescription drug use. Many prescription drugs, even legal drugs, will produce side effects. The side effects can vary; however, drowsiness and impaired judgement are not uncommon.

 

Side Effects of Impairing Substances

 

Illegal drugs are notorious for their impairing effects; and they can result in a DUI conviction. Cocaine, although a stimulant, can lead to disorientation and confusion. People may assume that the additional alertness will help them drive, however, that may not be the case. The increase in euphoria may cause drivers to lose their inhibitions and perform reckless maneuvers. Heroine or morphine use can also result in a DUI arrest. The side effects can result in individuals feeling disconnected, along with reduced reflexes, which can be fatal symptoms when operating a vehicle. LSD is another unsafe drug to use before driving. The hallucinations associated with LSD can cause the driver to react to conditions that aren’t reality. Even marijuana, though legal in many states, can be hazardous when it comes to driving performance. Users may experience losses in depth perception, as well as experience drowsiness while driving. If an officer notices the impaired driving, you could be charged with a DUI.

 

Being Pulled Over for a DUI

 

When an officer notices erratic driving, they may very well ask the driver to pull over for an examination. An officer can obtain quantitative results when it comes to alcohol content in a driver, which makes it relatively clear when determining whether or not an individual has drank enough to result in significant impairment. However, illicit drugs provide a slew of complications when determining a quantifiable analysis of impairment. Different drugs will remain in a person’s system for various amounts of time. An individual could have used marijuana a week prior to getting pulled over, and their urine may still test positive - even though they are not currently under the influence. If an officer is trained in identifying drug impairment, you can be charged with a DUI based solely on the officer’s observations.

 

A DUI can be a conviction that will forever affect your life. If you have recently been charged with a DUI, contact an attorney who specializes in DUI cases immediately such as the DUI attorney Phoenix AZ locals turn to.  Based on the details of the case, the attorney may be able to negotiate the charges to allow you a second chance.

 

[logo] Thanks to authors at Lorona Mead Attorneys at Law for their insight into Criminal Defense Law.

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