DUI drug charges have become a lot more prevalent in Atlanta, based on the fact that not as many people are consuming alcohol and driving a car. If an officer believes that a person is under the influence of drugs, they are going to be charged with it. An officer’s belief is enough. However, Atlanta DUI drug tests in drug tests can also be used to prove impairment in DUI drug cases. If you want to know more about DUI drug testing and how it can impact your case, consult a qualified DUI drug lawyer that can advocate for you.
Differences Between DUI Stops and DUI Drug Stops
DUI drug stops are exactly the same as standard DUI stops, except the officer thinks that they are under the influence of drugs versus alcohol. Also, the officer will ask for Atlanta DUI drug tests, specifically a blood test, as opposed to a breath test. The biggest difference between the two is that a drug charge can cause a suspension of somebody’s license without a work permit and an alcohol charge very often would not.
Any substance deemed a drug can be used in a drug DUI. If someone is under the influence of a prescribed or over the counter medication, they may still face DUI drug charges. It would be very difficult to prove, but they can be charged.
How Atlanta Police Prove Impairment
Georgia and other states may use what is called a drug recognition expert. These are officers who have greater training and claim to be able to make a determination whether that person has used drugs to the point that it impairs them. There are different types of Atlanta DUI drug tests that can be done. A drug recognition expert will run through 12 full tests.
The first thing they will do is an Alcohol Handheld Breath Test to determine whether there is alcohol in the system to rule out the use of alcohol. Once they rule out the use of alcohol, they will launch an investigation by asking the person if they took any medication recently, what kind, and for what reason.
The next step in the officer’s preliminary investigation is to take the person’s pulse, perform a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus eye exam (to determine whether the person’s eyes involuntarily jerk), then a Vertical Gaze Nystagmus, and a Circular Convergence Test (to see if the person’s eyes cross). According to police, even though there is no scientific validity to the convergence test, this test will determine if the person has been using marijuana.
The police will then have the person walk a straight line, stand on one leg, tilt their head back (for approximately 30 seconds), and ask the person to touch their nose using their hands. They will do a pulse test again. Then they will take the person into a dark room and examine their nose, mouth, eyes and pupil size.
Then law enforcement will want to test the person’s muscle tone, examine the person’s arms to determine if they are injecting any drugs. They will then interrogate the person and make a determination. The final step would be the person taking a blood, breath or urine test (typically, it would be a blood test that would make a determination).
Validity of Tests
What is interesting about all these Atlanta DUI drug tests, is that there is no scientific validity as to whether a suspect is under the influence of drugs. They have never been peer-reviewed, which means that no scientist would do this.
The best way to determine if somebody is under the influence of drugs (other than simply looking at them, talking to them, and observing their mannerisms), would be a blood or urine test to determine what is in their system, preferably a blood test because that would indicate what is active and inactive.
A person who has more training would never perform these tests. If a person went to a hospital with a suspected drug overdose, they would take a blood test, talk to the person, and then make a determination. That is how the determination is professionally ascertained. To learn more, individuals should consult a skilled DUI drug lawyer that can advocate for you.