When you think of DUI charges, you may associate that with driving after consuming alcohol. However, it can also include driving under the influence of other substances.
Driving under the influence of substances, prescription or otherwise, carries serious penalties. But these charges are more complex than you might think.
Drugs affect people differently
The same drug and dosage can impair driving ability differently in different people. Factors such as genetics, tolerance, weight and metabolism can all impact how a drug affects someone’s capacity to drive safely. This variability makes drug DUIs more complicated than alcohol DUIs.
Detecting drugs is more difficult
While roadside breath tests can estimate a driver’s blood alcohol concentration fairly easily, detecting the presence and extent of drug impairment is more difficult. It may require blood or urine testing, which is more invasive and time-consuming. Those tests can take some time for the results, and that lag can impede investigations. It may also allow you to call the results into question depending on the delay and the situation surrounding the testing.
Proving impairment gets tricky
The presence of a drug or substance does not always equate to measurable impairment. For example, marijuana can remain detectable in someone’s system weeks after use. At that point, no impairment exists despite its detectable presence. Prosecuting drug-related DUIs often relies on observations of impairment and connecting drug presence to effects on driving ability.
Research shows that 11.7 million people drove under the influence of drugs, including marijuana. Understanding the foundation of what makes those cases more challenging will provide you with the tools that you need to help fight the charges.