They are becoming a lot more prevalent. When an officer pulls somebody over, they are now trained to start asking questions involving drug use. Officers are more suspicious when they believe that something has impaired the person, that must be the explanation as to why they were weaving or driving erratically. As a result, Officers are trying to pin something on a suspect when they are on the side of the road if they can. A qualified drug lawyer can attempt to defend you. Not only can your lawyer answer any questions about Atlanta DUI drug arrests, they can also fight for you.
Elements the Prosecutor Must Prove
If it is a Schedule I Narcotic, or a substance that is per se illegal, and it is in someone’s body, they are DUI. If it is not one of those substances, then they must prove that the person is under the influence to the extent that they are a less safe driver or incapable of driving. Marijuana is illegal in Georgia and as a result, it can be used as a drug case, it is potentially problematic. It is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs, and marijuana is one of them. If marijuana impairs someone’s ability to drive, then they can be charged with it.
Law Enforcement Attitude Towards Drug DUIs
As far as law enforcement is concerned, there is no difference between a DUI and a drug DUI. One is tested with a blood test, the other with a breath test. In order to look for evidence of drug use, an officer might look at their eyes, how they smell, how they sound, or what they say, to determine whether they have been using drugs or not. Officers generally are suspicious and will start asking questions and will make a determination of what the person is up to. If an officer is suspicious, and people cannot pass the field sobriety tests, then those people are likely to be the subject of Atlanta DUI drug arrests.
Field Sobriety Tests
The same standard, e.g., the walk-and-turn, the one-legged stand, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus; or an Officer may choose to do some other test such as estimate 30 seconds, tilt their head back, touch their nose (which is a model called the Romberg Test), to determine or estimate the passage of 30 seconds. Also, they may give some ABC tests such as the Alphabet Test or Counting Test and things of that nature.
How DUI Drug Arrests and Trials Differ From Alcohol-DUI Arrests
Atlanta DUI drug arrests are the exact same as an alcohol-related offense. The main difference is that the person is being charged for the drugs versus alcohol. A lesser difference is that a lot of people have experience taking prescription drugs and are less sympathetic if it is heroin, methamphetamines, and drugs of that nature, but would have sympathy for a regular prescription drug.
Differences Between Proving Drug DUIs and Alcohol-Related DUIs
In drunk driving cases, there is what is called a per se level. This means that if a person has a certain amount of alcohol in their system, they are absolutely per se under the influence of alcohol. That number in Georgia, and in all states in the country, is 0.08. However, with regard to drugs, there is no fixed or set number.
Therefore, the state is obligated to prove that the person is under the influence of the drug to the extent that they are impaired. That being said, if a person has illegal drugs in their body, such as certain Schedule I Narcotics that have no lawful use or prescription, then, as a result, they are per se under the influence of drugs. Any methamphetamine in a person’s body alone is enough to prosecute them for a DUI drug charge.
How a Lawyer Can Help
The first thing your attorney can do is ascertain how long you have been taking. Typically, the defense would need a forensic toxicologist who can testify on your behalf that the drug used would not impair you. An expert would need to examine the blood test to make a determination that the quantity that you took was a therapeutic dose. In addition, a determination that the field sobriety tests performed for the purposes of testing if you were under the influence of alcohol, and not necessarily drugs, and that you were not impaired. Your attorney can try to do all of this in order to bolster your test and can answer any questions you have about Atlanta DUI drug arrests.