Did you know that DUI charges don’t just apply to drunk drivers? Drug users can also find themselves facing this charge if they get behind the wheel after they indulge in their favorite high. However, the rules surrounding DUIs for drug use can be a lot less clear than those for alcohol-related driving offenses, where there is a clear legal limit on the amount of alcohol you are allowed to have in your blood before you are legally impaired. If you’re not sure which drugs can get you in trouble on the road or what to do if you are pulled over, the following information may help.
What Happens If You’re Pulled Over?
If a police officer notices you driving erratically, he or she may pull you over and ask whether you have been taking drugs or drinking alcohol. You do not have to answer any questions as you do have the right to remain silent. The officer may also ask you to complete a field sobriety test, which is designed to assess whether you are too intoxicated to be in safely operating a vehicle. This usually involves some simple coordination tests, which are more difficult to perform correctly when you are intoxicated. Finally, you may be asked to blow into a device called an Intoxilyzer, which looks for alcohol on your breath. This device gives officers an estimate of how much alcohol is in your blood. If you are over the legal limit of alcohol, you can be charged with a DUI. There is no equivalent legal limit for drugs, but you can still get a DUI if a police officer can demonstrate that you are too intoxicated to safely operate a vehicle.
Which Drugs Can Get You in Trouble?
It’s not only illegal drugs that can get you in trouble on the road. You can also get a DUI for using prescription drugs while driving if your medications leave you too drowsy or mentally impaired to drive. That’s why it’s so important to check with your doctor or pharmacist that you are safe to drive while taking a particular medication. Of course, every drug has different effects on the body and produces different levels of impairment. A police officer that pulls you over for suspected drug use will often ask a Drug Recognition Expert — a police officer who has been trained to spot signs of drug impairment — to assess you. You may also be asked to take a blood or urine test to confirm what drugs are in your system and in what quantities. If you refuse to consent to a test, the officers will need to obtain a warrant to take you in for testing. The results of the test will be used against you as evidence in court.
What Should You Do?
If you have been charged with a drug-related DUI in Wichita, KS, you need to seek legal advice. Choose a Wichita DUI attorney, such as local legal expert Jonathan W. McConnell, who has experience representing people that have been charged with a DUI. With years of experience helping people with DUI charges, Jonathan W. McConnell can ensure you are well represented in court. Get in touch today to get help with your case.