With their close association with alcohol, it's hard to remember that DUI and DWI cover a lot more than just drunk driving. It's possible to be "driving under the influence" of any number of things, and "driving while intoxicated" doesn't specify the intoxicant. And between relaxed marijuana restrictions and the spike in prescription drug use, police need to be on the lookout for drivers who've consumed something other than "just a couple beers."
Here's what you need to know about DUI laws and drugged driving.
Almost every statute that applies to drunk driving also applies to stoned driving. The rare exception would be "per se" DUI laws based on a specific BAC level.
And that goes for your prescription medications as well, from cold and allergy medicine to prescription painkillers. Just because a doctor told you to take them does not mean it's ok for you to drive on them.
So how do police know you're driving while high? After decades of refining alcohol test technology, law enforcement is looking for better drug testing capabilities and the laws to let cops use them.
May police use breath tests to see if you're under the influence? Yes. But whether they have accurate and reliable test might be another thing.
When it comes to breath-testing for weed, the technology is definitely behind. But while police are currently using primarily mouth swabs and blood tests to check for pot intoxication, marijuana breathalyzers might not be far off.
Even with new tests, the ways to get around a DUI or DWI charge are pretty much the same.
Claims that you purchased something over the counter or only had a little bit are likely to fall on deaf ears. Saying the drug test was faulty or that you were drugged without your knowledge or against your will, on the other hand, just might work.
The best source of information regarding a drugged driving charge is an experienced DUI attorney -- contact one today.
- Don't face a DUI alone. Get your case reviewed by a lawyer for free now. (Consumer Injury)
- Drugged Driving On the Rise; Drunken Driving Wanes: NHTSA (FindLaw Blotter)
- 3 DUI Statistics You Should Know (FindLaw Blotter)
- Everything You Need to Know About DUI Field Sobriety Tests (FindLaw Blotter)