When people think of impaired driving, their thoughts usually go to alcohol. It’s true that many cases do revolve around alcohol, but it’s also possible to face these charges for being under the influence of drugs while you’re driving. This includes legal and illegal substances.
Some people don’t realize the scope of substances that can lead to these charges. You can face impaired driving charges for being under the influence of over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs – not just illegal drugs.
The challenges of facing drugged driving charges
One of the biggest challenges of drugged driving charges is that there aren’t immediate tests that can measure the amount in your system like there are with alcohol. A person who’s suspected of being drunk will be asked to take a roadside test. If the result is .08% or higher, they’re legally impaired. However, there’s currently nothing comparable to that for drugs.
Further, it’s possible for drugs to remain in the system longer than they affect the person. This means that a person could have an illegal substance show up in a urine or blood test without still being impaired by the drug.
In drugged driving cases, police officers usually have to rely on the standardized field sobriety tests and similar methods to determine if a person is impaired. This is sometimes subjective, so it might be possible to fight the determination as part of your defense strategy.
Anyone who’s accused of drugged driving should learn about their options for dealing with this charge. Getting experienced legal guidance as soon as possible is a good first step.