If you are ever arrested and charged with DUI based on drug use, such as marijuana, it is very important that you contact a DeKalb County DUI attorney immediately. The law restricts you from driving under the influence of any drug that may affect your ability to operate a vehicle. This restriction includes recreational and pharmaceutical (prescription) drugs.
If you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI and the officer suspects that you may be under the influence of drugs, he or she will arrest you. Once you are arrested, you will be mandated to take either a blood or urine test at the hospital or police station. If you refuse this test, you may face up to one year of a suspended license. If an officer believes that a drug you have a prescription for is affecting your ability to drive, you can still be charged with a DUI - even though you have attained the drugs legally.
DeKalb County Lawyer Defending Against DUI of Drugs
In recent years, a growing trend in DUI law is the increased frequency of DUI-drug arrests. Even though alcohol is the primary reason people get arrested for DUI, police officers are expanding their assessment of drivers to include those who have been driving under the influence of illegal drugs and legal drugs. Most Georgians are aware that they can be charged with DUI if they are driving under the influence of an illegal substance such as marijuana. However, many people are shocked to find out they can be arrested and charged with DUI for driving under the influence of a lawfully prescribed drug, or even an over-the-counter medication.
Keep in mind that the police have a tremendous amount of discretion when assessing impairment by a drug. They commonly make assumptions or conclusions based on their experience; however, many of these assumptions are incorrect. This is a cause for concern because there are virtually no studies quantifying any illegal or legal drug use with driving impairment level. Additionally, the standardized field sobriety tests that police officers are trained in aren't designed to detect impairment by drugs.
Although an alcohol related DUI case and a DUI-drug case are handled virtually the same by the courts, there are a few fundamental differences. For example, with an alcohol DUI case, it's unlawful to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) at .08% or greater, whereas with a DUI-drug case, there is no quantitative amount of any drug or substance that causes a known level of impairment. Even a toxicologist or lab witness cannot state that a drug level in a person's system means the person was impaired, and this is very critical for the defense. DUI-drug cases are far more difficult to prosecute than DUI-alcohol cases due to the fact that this is an undeveloped area of law still.
Our attorneys have over 20 years of experience defending complex DUI cases. We will take the time to review your case and establish the best defense possible for you. There are several defense options for drug related DUI offenses. In some cases your Constitutional rights regarding search and seizure may have been violated. If we can establish that your rights were violated during your arrest - we can dramatically improve your chances of a positive outcome in your case. In other cases, a physical condition can cause symptoms similar to drug intoxication (such as diabetes, stroke and head injury).
If you are arrested and charged with a DUI offense related to drugs, you should contact the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson immediately. Remember to only provide the required information when you are arrested and to contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. The defense of your case should start immediately after your arrest.
Contact a DeKalb County DUI lawyer from the firm today to receive your initial case consultation.