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Legal Drugs and DUIs: What You Need to Know

A DUI Is Not Just About Alcohol

Remember, the acronym “DUI” stands for “driving under the influence.” There is a strong cultural push to remind people not to drink and drive, but alcohol is not the only drug that can impair your driving.

Plenty of legal substances can slow your reaction times and make your driving more dangerous. Many prescription drug labels will remind you not to drive or operate machinery while on the medicine. Even some over-the-counter medicines have warnings about driving.

If anything whatsoever impairs your driving, you could be arrested for a DUI.

The Evidence for a Drugged Driving Arrest

Police are on the lookout for drunk drivers, but they are also searching for people who drive while high on drugs. Driving while high is sometimes called a DUID, or “driving under the influence of drugs.”

In a typical, alcohol-related DUI, police have plenty of evidence at their disposal. Breathalyzers can give officers a general idea of how much alcohol is in your system, and blood tests are almost foolproof.

When it comes to the evidence for a DUID, police have far fewer options. They can perform a blood test, but they can receive only limited results. DUID blood tests look for the most common drugs like cocaine, meth, heroin, and marijuana. They cannot, however, account for all possible drugs, and they do not look for many legal drugs.

As a result, police often rely on their simple intuition in a DUID arrest. Sometimes, this instinct is accurate. It can be easy to determine when someone is completely disconnected from reality. Even in those cases, however, the cops may not consider that someone is having a medical crisis or a mental health issue. They could even simply assume that someone with an eccentric personality is high, even when that person is stone sober.

Always Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

In our justice system, the right to remain silent is fundamental. Whenever you have been pulled over, regardless of the reason, keep quiet. You may need to answer some general questions such as your name and address, but other than that, don’t say a thing.

Don’t tell them where you’ve been or where you are going. If they ask you what you have in the cupholder, don’t answer. They may attempt to use tricky questions like, “What kind of medicine did you take today?” Don’t answer. You can stay pleasant and cooperative without responding, and you have the right to do so.

If the police connect your driving behavior to any outside substance, even a legal one, they can arrest you for a DUID. Technically, if they believe you had too much coffee, and that caffeine rush led to reckless driving, you could have a DUI arrest on your record.

If you’ve been accused of driving while intoxicated, Masella Law Firm, P.A. is here to help. You can use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation, or you can call us now at (803) 938-4952.