Driving and drugs: What you need to know
Drivers have to be in the proper mental and physical condition to drive. Any impairing factors can render them unsafe to drive. While most people may think about alcohol when they hear about impaired driving, it’s also possible for drugs to cause this effect.
You may not realize this, but all drugs, including those that are over-the-counter, prescription and illegal can all lead to impairment. Even if the drug is legal, driving while you’re impaired by that drug isn’t legal.
Challenges with enforcement
One thing that’s difficult when it comes to drugged driving is making sure that drivers aren’t driving while they’re under the influence of drugs. It’s difficult to prosecute these cases because there aren’t reliable chemical tests that will tell authorities exactly how impaired a driver is by the substance. In the case of alcohol, they have blood alcohol concentration tests to provide a tangible measurement of impairment that the court can consider in a criminal case.
In many cases, police officers rely on a driver’s statements and sobriety tests to find out if the driver is too impaired to operate a vehicle. Still, this doesn’t give them the information about what drugs the person may have taken that could have contributed to the impairment.
Anyone who’s charged with driving under the influence of drugs should ensure they explore their defense options. These can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. Ensure you start planning your defense strategy early in the case so you can take your time going through them. You need to make the decision you feel is best for your needs.