Atlanta, GA-Drugged driving is just as dangerous as drunken driving, yet it happens. In a 2012 National Survey of Drug Use and Health over 10 million adolescents and adults admitted to driving under the influence of drugs. That may be a small percentage of overall motorists and significantly lower than drunken driving, but each one of those drivers could find themselves with the drugged driving charge and will need a strong defense.
Before you can understand what is valid in your defense you must know what cannot be used as a defense strategy for drugged driving charges.
You have a Prescription- Some people fail to understand that just because you have a prescription for a drug that is known to alter or slow your reactions you are not immune to drugged driving charges. There are certain classes of prescription drugs, such as anti-depressants, sleeping pills, and anti-histamines which have labels warning the individual not to drive because it can affect driving abilities.
I only had a small dosage- Police don’t care if you only had a small amount of an altering prescription drug. The majority of states have a zero=tolerance policy and any amount of drugs in your system, however small is grounds for a drugged driving charge.
Sleep Driving- There are several sleeping pills on the market that cause the user to sleepwalk and on rare occasions drive while they are technically asleep. When you voluntarily take a sleeping pill you cannot use “sleep driving” as defense.
Drugged driving defense that may work are:
Questioning the reason for a stop- When police pull a driver over they must have probable cause to stop you. That means that either you were in violation of a traffic law or your car is in violation. An officer cannot pull a person over simply to see if they are intoxicated, but it can happen. If you were pulled over for no apparent reason and then charged with drugged driving, a White Plains DUI attorney can help you avoid conviction by challenging the officer’s probable cause.
Questioning the validity of a chemical test- An improperly administered field test or blood test can give false results in sobriety tests.
Unintentional Dosing- There are certain occasions when a person has been given a prescription drug without their knowledge or has taken the wrong drug. In these cases, you may be able to utilize and unintentional intoxication defense.
The defenses for a drugged driving charge are few, but there are other ways in which a drugged driving offender can reduce their penalties when conviction seems unavoidable there are some mitigating circumstances which a judge may take into consideration in your sentencing. A good DUI attorney will know which of these mitigating circumstances will play in your favor and use them in your defense.
Drugged driving charges should be taken seriously and the accused will benefit from hiring an experienced DUI attorney. With help you may be able to avoid a conviction or negotiate for a reduced charge.