An individual can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs if the officer has probable cause to believe that they have ingested any medication or substance that impairs their ability to operate a vehicle. For example, if the officer believes that marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or any other medication has been taken, which has then impaired their driving ability, the impaired driver can be charged with a drug DUI. When this is alleged, it is important to consult with an Atlanta DUI drug lawyer as soon as possible to begin planning a defense and mitigating the damage as much as possible. To learn more or discuss what steps you can take before your trial, call and schedule a consultation with a local DUI attorney today.
For the most part, drug DUI stops and alcohol-based DUI stops are very similar. The differences come down to the type of voluntary field sobriety tests that the officers may ask a driver to submit to. There are three standard tests that a person will be asked to perform if they are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. However, if they are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs, there are up to eight additional tests that an officer may ask for as well that will pinpoint the type of drug and the amount of impairment therefrom.
Quite often in the Atlanta area, people are arrested for being under the influence of marijuana while driving. More and more people are actually switching from alcohol to marijuana as their drug of choice for social occasions, which has led to an increase in people being arrested for marijuana DUIs. In addition, pills such as Xanax have become very popular again and are another type of drug that Atlanta lawyers see fairly often in DUI drug cases.
No, you can be arrested for driving under the influence of any sort of medication if the officer can show that they had probable cause to believe that you were under the influence of that medication to the extent that you were a less safe driver. It is important to note that even prescription medications can give rise to a DUI charge if the drug impairs your driving ability. Even over-the-counter medications, such as Benadryl, can have an effect on a driver, and if the officers can show that you were drowsy to the point that it impaired your driving ability, you can be charged with DUI.
Under state law, in most DUI drug cases in Atlanta, a person faces a suspension of their license three days after they are arrested, unless they demand a hearing. However, that hearing demand must be filed within 10 business days of the arrest, otherwise that person will face a 12 month suspension their privilege to drive on the highways and roads of the State of Georgia.
Beyond a license hearing, the first scheduled court date is generally for an arraignment which is where a defendant is read the charges and enters a plea of guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere (no contest). Arraignment is typically about two months after the arrest.
Georgia has a very complex body of law concerning the rights of drivers, driver’s licenses, DUI, and drugs. There are overlaying multiple types of suspensions that a person can encounter for selling drugs, driving while in possession of drugs, and driving under the influence of drugs, and these laws often are in conflict with each other.
For example, a person who is convicted of a first offense of being under the influence of marijuana cannot get a driving permit, however, a person who is convicted of a first offense of alcohol can. For this reason, if you are arrested for DUI, it is likely in your best interest to consult with an Atlanta DUI drug lawyer as soon as possible.