Brandon Schneider, age 27, was indicted on Monday, June 10. Schneider is facing charges of homicide by vehicle, serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving, use of improper tires, D.U.I., and driving on the wrong side of the roadway for an accident he allegedly caused that resulted in the death of 87-year-old Connie Mack “Doc” Lathem and injury to Bunia Lathem.
According to reports, the Sheriff's Office Traffic Specialist Unit has been investigating whether Schneider was driving under the influence on the night of the incident after he was observed driving erratically minutes before the accident on Canton Highway. Schneider's indictment revealed that law enforcement believes Schneider was under the influence of G.H.B., commonly known as the “date rape drug,” at the time of the wreck. The Drug Enforcement Administration explains that G.H.B. is an addictive prescription medication that reportedly causes drowsiness, euphoria, and hallucination.
As a Roswell-Alpharetta D.U.I. Attorney, I am familiar with the varieties of driving under the influence, including D.U.I. Drug. In today's post, I will be outlining the law and potential defenses to a charge of D.U.I. Drug.
D.U.I. Drug in Roswell-Alpharetta
One of the most rapid trends in Georgia D.U.I. law is the growing amount of arrests for D.U.I. Drugs. Under Georgia law, O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391 explains that Georgia's D.U.I. statute pertains not only to driving under the influence of alcohol but also driving under the influence of drugs. The statute contains three key provisions concerning a charge of D.U.I. Drugs:
1. A person shall not drive while under the influence of any drug to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive.
2. A person shall not drive under the influence of a combination of substances (i.e., drugs and alcohol) to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive.
3. A person cannot be under the influence of prescription drugs, even if a drug or drugs are prescribed legally. However, in order to convict, the prosecutor must prove that the prescribed medication rendered the individual incompetent to drive safely.
Unlike alcohol, there is no quantifiable legal limit that is indicative of whether someone is under the influence of drugs. This gives police officers broad discretion to determine whether an individual is not safe to drive. Officers are trained to take into account a variety of different circumstances surrounding the arrest, including how the individual was supposedly driving, their performance in field sobriety testing, and their mannerisms. After the case arrives in court, the prosecutor will look at the officer's observations as well as the results of chemical drug testing that was performed.
As a former prosecutor and with 20 years as a Roswell-Alpharetta D.U.I. Lawyer, I have a great deal of training determining the best way to defend your case. If you or someone you know has been charged with D.U.I. or D.U.I. Drug in Roswell-Alpharetta, give our office a call today.