In Georgia, the law allows the prosecution to charge a person with what they call a combination DUI, which means that a person can be prosecuted for having a combination of alcohol and/or other medications or drugs in their system. This allows the prosecution to argue that there is a cumulative effect. For example, if a person gives a blood test after being arrested for DUI and they have only a little level of alcohol in their system, but they also have perhaps a small amount of Xanax and a small amount of marijuana, at these levels there might not be much impairment, but the prosecution will argue that there was a combination effect by all these drugs.
It is a very powerful argument, and many times it is not even backed up by any evidence to the impairment. When the jury hears there was cocaine, there was marijuana, there was alcohol, and there was Xanax, even at a low levels, the combination is very powerful and can push the jury beyond a reasonable doubt to return a guilty verdict. Due to the power of this argument, it is vital for anyone facing these charges to consult with an Atlanta DUID attorney about building a strong and effective defense.
The penalties for a drug and alcohol DUI are very similar to those for a standard DUI. The primary difference between an alcohol DUI, or an alcohol and drugs DUI, or a drug DUI, is that if it is purely an alcohol DUI and it is a first offense, a person can get a driving permit after being convicted. However, if it is an alcohol and drugs DUI or just a drug DUI, there is no permit available, if convicted.
The mixing of alcohol and prescription medications can have dangerous implications for a driver. Most people understand how they will be affected if they have one or two glasses of wine based on their prior experiences. They also may know how a certain medication affects them if they have taken it previously, but no medication is prescribed to be taken with alcohol. Putting two substances of different types that affect central nervous system functions at one time can be very dangerous. It is very strongly advised that people do not mix alcohol with any sort of prescription medication.
If a person is charged with prescription medications and alcohol as a basis for DUI, a DUI attorney will still have to approach the litigation the same way they do with any DUI, which is to say with a thorough investigation. The investigation will include the officer’s training records, the videos, police reports, 911 calls, witnesses, et cetera. Even if it is an alcohol and drug combination type DUI, the prosecution still must prove the person was impaired by those substances beyond a reasonable doubt. The primary source of evidence is the officer’s testimony. If the defense attorney can successfully attack the credibility of the officer’s testimony or create reasonable doubt through the testimony of their own expert, the defense may be able to obtain a not guilty verdict for their client