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Larry P. McDougal - Attorney at Law
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What is drugged driving? How is it detected?

Driving under the influence is a big problem in this country. The problem is that many people don't realize exactly what the charge entails. It is possible for some people to commit this crime without knowing they are doing it.

There are many different things that might lead to a person driving under the influence. One of the obvious is that the person was taking illegal drugs, but that might not be what's happening in all cases. Some people face this problem due to prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications.

Why is drugged driving a huge problem?

Drugged driving is a huge issue because people can die in crashes caused by a driver who is impaired. The reason for the impairment doesn't have any part in what type of injuries might occur, so drugged driving has be taken just as seriously as drunk driving. Law enforcement officials work to stop all cases of drivers who are impaired by any substance.

Because you can be impaired by prescribed drugs and over-the-counter medications, you need to ensure that you know how they are going to impact you before you get behind the wheel. Some come with warnings about fatigue or dizziness.

How is drugged driving determined?

Officers will usually look for signs of impairment while a person is driving. Things like weaving between lanes of traffic or failing to stop at traffic signal devices can be the result of impairment. If the officer has reasonable suspicion to think that a person is driving under the influence, they can initiate a traffic stop. This may lead to your being asked to take a field sobriety test.

You might also be asked to take a test to determine what drugs are in your system. In some cases, a warrant for the sample to do this might be issued. These tests can often be misleading because it is possible for drugs to be in a person's system without being impaired by them.

What can people charged with this do?

If you are facing charges for impaired driving, remember that you have rights that must be respected. You have the right to remain silent and to have legal representation when you are questioned. Anything you say can be used against you, so be very careful about what you reveal. Even admitting that you took an over-the-counter medication two hours before driving might work against you. It is also imperative for you to explore your options for a defense.

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