Most of the time when people hear the term “DUI” they associate it with drunk driving; however, alcohol intoxication is not the only form of driving under the influence. A person can also be charged with DUI for drug related impairment, no matter if they took illegal or prescribed medication.
If you find yourself in this situation, consider seeking guidance from a knowledgeable DUI attorney. A Manhattan DUI drug lawyer is well-practiced in defending these kinds of cases and understands the complexities of the law when it comes to DUIs and drugs. They could investigate the circumstances of your arrest and review all the evidence to establish a strong defense on your behalf. Contact us to learn more about how our team could provide assistance throughout the entire legal process.
Definition of a Drug-Related DUI
If a person is caught driving in an unsafe manner, and it is later proven that they had a drug in their system—either prescription or illegal—that is considered drugged driving and would result in a DUI charge. A driver can be prosecuted for DUI of drugs even if they did not know that the medication would impair them. A drug-related DUI is a per se violation, which means that a person does not knowingly have to commit the crime for it to be considered illegal and to face the consequences.
During an initial consultation, a DUI drug lawyer in Manhattan could answers any question a defendant may have regarding how state law works when it comes to drugged driving offenses and the best way to position a case.
Prescription Drugs and DUIs
People often think they can only be charged for drug DUIs if they operate a vehicle while using illegal drugs—that is a myth. Just because medication is prescribed by a doctor does not mean that it is legal to use while driving. Kansas state law asserts that if the drug affects a person to the point where it impairs their ability to safely operate a vehicle, then they are under the influence of drugs, and can be charged as such.
The same thing is true for over-the-counter medication, such as Benadryl, which often results in drowsiness, making most users unfit to drive a car. However, a savvy Manhattan DUI drug attorney could argue against these kinds of cases when the medicine manufacturers do not install proper product labels warning users to avoid operating heavy equipment after taking the drug.
Drug Testing for DUI Charges
Police officers are well-trained in drug detection through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and can utilize numerous field sobriety tests when they suspect a driver is under the influence of drugs.
After an arrest is made, an officer would then request a blood test from the driver. Once a blood test is performed in Manhattan, it is then sent to the KBI laboratories in Topeka. The person’s blood will be analyzed, and a determination will be made of what drugs, if any, were in the system.
Refusal to Take a Blood Test
If an officer requests a blood test from a person they suspect was driving under the influence of drugs, and the individual refuses to submit to testing, then it is deemed a legal refusal. This would result in a driver’s license suspension, with the timeframe dependent on whether it was a first, second, or third offense.
While blood tests are usually the most powerful form of evidence, there are other forms of documentation that law enforcement may use to make a case against an individual. For instance, almost all police officers have dash cams and/or body cams now, which can record and capture a defendant’s driving prior to being pulled over, as well as their performance on any field sobriety tests. These videos could be submitted to the judge or jury as evidence when a DUI case is presented.
Defend Your Rights with the Help of a Manhattan DUI Drug Attorney
Being arrested for a drug-related DUI can be a difficult scenario, especially if you were unaware taking your prescription medication would impair your driving abilities. However, no matter your intention, you could be facing severe legal consequences.
A Manhattan DUI drug lawyer is prepared to tenaciously fight for your side and defend your rights in court. Do not let law enforcement intimidate you into admitting fault or making a guilty plea — get help from an experienced attorney today.