Prescription Drugs & DUI
In recent years DUI arrest trends have changed. In the past, DUI arrests were presumed to be the result of an alcohol-related offense; however, in the past few years our firm has seen a surge in DUI drug related arrests, while the numbers of drunk drivers have actually decreased over the years. At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, our founding Roswell DUI lawyer Richard S. Lawson has been working in the field of DUI law for nearly twenty years. As a former prosecutor turned DUI defense attorney, he has successfully resolved more than 4,500 cases and he has served as lead counsel at the jury trials and motions of hundreds of Georgia DUI cases.
Due to the changing trends, we have turned our attention towards DUI drug arrests, and over the last decade, the pool of medicated drivers has greatly increased. There are millions of people on daily medications for conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, depression and insomnia at any given time. Due to the increase in frequency of medicated drivers, there are more people who are susceptible to a DUI drug arrest than in the past.
DUI & Drugs – What You Need to Know
Recent trends have indicated that police officers are expanding their assessments of impaired drivers to include drivers impaired by legal and illegal drugs. While most people are aware that it's unlawful to drive under the influence of an illegal drug such as marijuana or cocaine, many of them are shocked to learn that they can be arrested for driving under the influence of their muscle relaxers, or anti-anxiety medication, or even their allergy medicine such as Benadryl. Many of these drugs cause excessive drowsiness and can cause the driver to fall asleep behind the wheel, while other times it's the combination of an over-the-counter medication with a lawfully prescribed medication that causes the driver to be impaired.
It's important for you to know that police officers have discretion when it comes to assessing a driver's impairment from a legal or illegal drug. It's not unusual for the police to make an assumption or conclusion based upon their field experience or their observations. A lot of times these conclusions are incorrect, but it still creates a great deal of inconvenience for the person that's wrongfully arrested. This is a problem for innocent drivers because there are no studies quantifying any illegal or legal drug use with driving impairment level. Furthermore, the standardized field sobriety tests that the police use aren't designed to detect impairment from legal or illegal drugs.
Prescription Drugs & DUI Lawyer in Roswell
With an alcohol related DUI case, the prosecution can rely on what is called "per se." Per se refers to the legal limit of .08%. Under per se, a person is considered legally impaired when their blood alcohol content is at or above .08%. With drugs, we don't have any kind of studies or research that has set a "legal limit" or threshold. Actually, not even a lab witness or toxicologist can state that a high level of a prescription medication in a person's system is enough to impair their driving ability.
This goes to show you how undeveloped the area of DUI and drug law is, and this actually proves very valuable for the defense. DUI drug cases are very difficult for the prosecution to prove and we are well aware of this fact. As your DUI defense law firm, we will aggressively pursue a favorable case outcome on your behalf. We understand how important it is to keep you free from a criminal conviction and to keep your driver's license. Call us today so we can get started building your defense.
To learn more about prescription drugs and DUI, contact a Roswell DUI attorney from the firm today!