The law among states is inconsistent in this area but drugged driving, or driving under the influence of drugs, can result in criminal penalties. Driving while drugged can occur on both legal and illegal medications. It can happen with medicine taken over-the-counter or illicit drugs purchased on a corner. The issue with these various drugs is that they impact each person differently so there is very little consensus on what constitutes “drugged driving.” This article will address these issues and how they may affect you.
One of the biggest problems confronted by law enforcement is creating a unified method to ascertain if someone is driving while drugged. Drunk drivers have an easy “breath test” that can confirm if they are above or below the legal limit. This isn’t true for drugs, even illicit drugs. Police officers must rely on observation to determine if you are drugged while driving.
Don’t take this ambiguity as a blessing. It could make you more vulnerable to aggressive prosecution and investigation. The more reliant the prosecutor is on police testimony, the more unclear your defense strategy becomes.
Furthermore, know that you can be considered driving while drugged even if you are using prescribed medication. Legal drugs affect so many people in so many various ways that it is nearly impossible to impose a uniform assessment. The general rule is to heed the advice of your doctor and avoid driving if you feel compromised.
Until a uniform data collection and reporting system is implemented, drivers remain at risk of being charged by an over-aggressive prosecutor. If you were charged with drugged driving, then you may want to speak to an attorney. Don’t think that because this is a relatively gray area that you can use the law to your advantage. Gray areas also give benefits to the police and prosecutors. Drugged driving, regardless of how you may “feel” while driving, is illegal. The police can arrest you and may charge you.