DUI and Prescription Drugs. How Can An Attorney Help

Alcohol is not the only substance that is considered during a drunk driving stop. Drugs are included, so you need to know the laws on illegal drugs and legal prescription drug use while driving.

All 50 states will have alcohol and drug laws and penalty structure on the books as it applies to driving under the influence (DUI). However, depending on the state where you live, the penalties and requirements will vary. Some states laws will be more lenient than others. The only phase that usually remains constant is the blood alcohol content level (BAC) at the 0.08 percent mark.

The offense of driving under the influence typically relates to being intoxicated via alcohol, and should not be taken lightly. On the other hand, alcohol is merely one many substances that can, and often does, impair the driver’s ability to operate any type of motorized vehicle. Most all of the readers of this article have, at one time or another, seen the serious results on the freeways and streets while individuals are under the influence of booze or drugs or both.

However, mixing drugs and driving, be it medical marijuana or legally prescribed drugs, is in simple and plain jargon: Illegal – period, and usually constitutes a DUI offense, and the penalties that follow. And yes, if you think you’ll be able to “skate” if stopped by a law enforcement person, you’re sadly mistaken. Doctor’s orders are no defense to drugged driving charges. See, the problem with drugs is the ingestion of different drugs affects drivers in different ways. And those that impair a driver’s judgment, alertness, concentration, and even motor skills are actually noted as more dangerous than a driver posting an 0.08 mark on alcohol.

Some drivers who are overjoyed that the state where they reside has now legalized the use of “medical marijuana” may come to the conclusion that smoking this drug will not be detectable in a person’s urine or bloodstream. Not so, folks. It’s in your system for four or five weeks after use. Yet, using an even more violent drug like Cocaine, detection is usually gone within a 24 hour period. All that said, if you are a “druggie,” be advised that today nearly 44 states have implicated a new Drug Recognition Experts (DRE’s) program. These DRE’s are specially trained police officers who know how the game is played, and follow specific guidelines to make a final determination of drug impairment in drivers.

Most times an arrested person’s first thoughts are: “how-do-I-get-out-of-this?”  Well, contacting a friend who has already been through the ropes of a DUI or drug-related arrest for an attorney referral is your first step, and the sooner the better. You can also visit the local yellow pages, and check for an attorney who specializes in these type of cases. In any event, you want legal representation from an experienced, and reputable attorney who knows what the inside of a courtroom looks like.

Final Note: Every reader of this article should be cognizant of the Drugged Driving “Per Se” Laws. Since it is a bit more difficult to prosecute drivers charged with driving under the influence of drugs, rather than alcohol, more than 15 states have initiated a “Per Se” drugged driving law, making it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of certain drugs in their system. A list of the states involved in this new and unique program, can be found by using the two words mentioned above.