The Challenges of Drug DUI Case Laws
Every state, as well as District of Columbia, has enacted some form of drug DUI case laws making it illegal to drive a vehicle under the influence of drugs. The statutes themselves vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Generally DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs) statutes make it illegal to drive while under influence of any drug. This is whether it is narcotic, illegal, or over the counter. Thus, whether you are under the influence of crack, prescription Xanax, or Nyquil, the penalties are the same.
Just as states have per se DUI laws, some states now are also enacting per se drug DUI case laws, making it illegal to drive with any amount of drugs present in your system. Most statutes exempt prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications from per se prosecution. Medications, such as these, obtained legally. Medications may still impair your ability to drive, which arrest and prosecution is possible for driving under influence of them.
Prosecution of DUID's in general are more difficult than DUI's are. Breath tests cannot detect drug levels. Blood tests cannot always determine what particular drug may be in your system. Most police officers not adequately trained in drug detection. Your entire DUID case may rest on an unqualified officer's opinion of your supposed drug impairment. Some states statutes have harsher sentences for DUID cases. If you have been arrested for DUID, contact an experienced attorney in your state, city, or county for more information.
Movement Towards Drug Recognition Experts (DRE)
Most DUI officers will tell you as years have gone by, the percentage of people impaired by drugs risen significantly. This may be because of America's love affair with prescription medication. It may be because drugs such as meth are cheap and easy to obtain. These drugs often used, at least initially, to gain an edge in our ultra-competitive world.
Because many police departments lack the tools to effectively detect and process drug impaired drivers. Many police departments are making an effort to get more officers certified as Drug Recognition Experts (DRE). When a person pulled over and suspected of drug impairment. A DRE officer, if available, called in to do a battery of drug recognition tests.
This is a prediction within the next decade. Number of drug related DUI arrests will equal or exceed number of alcohol related DUI arrests.
If you are accused of drug related DUI, or a DUI with a combination of alcohol and drugs, select the state, city, or county of your arrest to contact a trusted DUI attorney to review your options.