At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, our firm has been representing those who have been arrested for DUI for over twenty years. We make it our business to stay abreast of all developments in Georgia DUI laws, as well as those pertaining to DUI and drugs. In the last couple of years, we have seen an increased frequency in DUI drug arrests, while alcohol related arrests have seen a downward trend. Why the sudden increase in DUI drug arrests?
We believe that an increasing percentage of our population is medicated at any given time. This is because of a few fundamental factors. Part of this is due to our aging population and their need for medications to manage their health. Another reason is the great increase in men, women and teens taking daily medications for conditions such as anxiety, depression, ADHD and insomnia.
As the pool of medicated drivers grows, it's understandable why medicated drivers would be more susceptible to a DUI drug arrest. If you or someone you love has been arrested for driving under the influence of a legal or illegal drug, please contact a Gwinnett County DUI attorney from the firm to discuss your case.
Understanding DUI and Drugs
Due to the great efforts of anti-drunk driving campaigns such as those put on by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), we have seen a decrease in the amount of drunk drivers on the roads. On the other hand, we have seen a vast increase in the number of medicated drivers. Recent trends have shown that police officers across the nation have expanded their assessments of drivers to include those under the influence of both legal and illegal drugs.
While most of us are aware of the fact that it's unlawful to drive under the influence of an illegal drug such as LSD, or cocaine, or marijuana, most people are shocked to learn that they can be arrested for DUI if caught driving under the influence of their lawfully prescribed medication, or even an over-the-counter cough, cold or allergy medicine.
Unfortunately, the police have a lot of discretion when assessing a person's impairment from a drug; however, very few of them have any relevant training in detecting impairment of a legal or illegal substance, and this is a worrisome development in DUI law. In fact, even the standardized field sobriety tests that law enforcement use roadside aren't designed to detect impairment by any legal or illegal drug or substance. With an alcohol-related DUI case, the prosecutor can rely on the blood alcohol content (BAC) threshold of .08%. However, with a DUI drug case no quantitative amount of any drug or substance creates a known level of impairment for the driver.
Gwinnett County Prescription Drugs & DUI Lawyer
To date, there haven't been any studies quantifying any illegal or legal drug use with driving impairment level. This is actually a good thing for the defense because the burden of proof is on the prosecution. DUI drug cases are far more difficult to prove than alcohol-related cases due to the fact that there hasn't been a legal threshold or limit agreed upon by the courts for all the different drugs and substances on the consumer market. Because DUI drug cases are a fairly new and undeveloped area of law, there are a number of effective ways to challenge such cases.
To fight your DUI drug charges, contact our firm to schedule your initial consultation with a member of our legal team. Your future is important to us; don't let this vague area of law make you lose your driving privileges.
Arrested for driving under the influence of a drug? If so, don't hesitate to contact a Gwinnett County DUI attorney from the firm today!