Driving Under the Influence is a serious crime that has serious consequences. In most states, a DUI charge covers both alcohol and drug use. Operating a motor vehicle with any measurable quantity of controlled substances in your system is illegal and considered DUI.
In this blog, learn more about the ins and outs of getting a DUI for drug use, including information about what drugs police test for, the potential penalties for getting a DUI for drug use, and how to defend yourself against the charge if you’ve been accused of driving under the influence of drugs.
What is Impaired Driving?
Impaired driving is the act of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a substance that can impair one’s ability to drive. This can include alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medications. A field sobriety test is a series of physical and mental exercises used to determine if a person is impaired. If a person is found to be impaired, they may be arrested and charged with DUI.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs vs. DUI Alcohol
The term “driving under the influence” (DUI) refers to operating a vehicle while impaired by the influence of drugs or alcohol. A DUI offense can be charged as a result of either drug or alcohol impairment. However, there are some key differences between driving under the influence of drugs and DUI alcohol.
For instance, alcohol is a legal substance that is regulated by state laws, whereas drugs are illegal substances that are not regulated. Additionally, alcohol is metabolized by the body relatively quickly, whereas drugs can stay in the system for much longer. As a result, it is generally easier to prove that someone is impaired by alcohol than it is to prove that they are impaired by drugs.
Another key difference is that there are breathalyzers and other tests that can measure a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC), but there is no equivalent test for drugs. This means that police officers have to rely on other indicators, such as erratic behavior or slurred speech, to determine whether someone is under the influence of drugs.
How Drug DUI is Detected
DUI drug use is detected through field sobriety tests, blood tests, and urine tests. Blood tests can show the presence of drugs in your system, while urine tests can detect the presence of specific drugs. The most common way to detect drugs in your system is through field sobriety tests, which include a number of tests that are designed to test your coordination and reactions. If you have been charged with DUI and are facing a field sobriety test, it is important that you know what to expect and how to prepare for the test.
You will be asked to stand on one leg and raise the other leg up six inches off the ground while counting out loud. You will then be asked to stand on one leg and hold your arms out in front of you while counting aloud. Once this is completed, you will be asked to walk in a straight line while keeping your feet together. You will also be asked to turn around without moving your feet or stopping once you reach the end of the line.
Finally, you will be asked to count down from 100 by sevens, which requires you to keep track of numbers quickly. If at any time during these tests you appear unsteady or confused, it may indicate that you have consumed alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel.
Penalties for Drug DUI
The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs are similar to those for alcohol-impaired driving. If you are convicted of a drug DUI, you may face jail time, loss of your driver’s license, and a fine. The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs depend on the drug involved and the state where the offense occurred.
Possible Defenses to Drug DUI Charges in Georgia
There are a few possible defenses to drug DUI charges in Georgia. One is that the person was not actually driving under the influence of drugs. This can be proven by a blood or urine test showing no signs of drug use. Another defense is that the person was not impaired by drug use. This can be shown by witnesses who saw the person driving and did not notice any signs of impairment.
Contact a Savannah Criminal Defense Attorney Today
DUIs and drug DUIs are serious crimes that involve consequences. When you are on trial for a DUI or drug DUI, it is important that you carefully consider your options, including the possible defenses to the charges. Contact a criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. Schedule a consultation by calling Phillips Carson Phillips at (912) 232-0081 or using our online contact form.