Impaired driving is usually associated with alcohol, but that isn’t always the case. Some drivers who are impaired have taken drugs. It’s possible to face charges for impaired driving due to over-the-counter, prescription or illegal drugs.
The key here is that any substance that impairs your ability to drive safely must be avoided so that you can remain safe as you drive. If a police officer sees something that seems suspicious, they’ll likely initiate a traffic stop.
What are signs of drugged driving that police officers watch for?
The signs of drugged driving are the same as those of drunk driving. People who are impaired by drugs may swerve between lanes, stop without a reason, or drive erratically. They may go much slower or faster than the posted speed limit.
The officer will try to find out what’s going on when they stop the vehicle. This is challenging in some cases because there’s not a mainstream chemical test for drugs like there is for alcohol. Officers will have to rely on other methods, such as standardized field sobriety tests and their own judgment to determine impairment. In some cases, they may seek a warrant for chemical blood testing.
Does having a prescription stop drugged driving charges?
Having a prescription for a medication isn’t going to get you out of drugged driving charges. The prescription gives you the ability to legally consume the drug, but you still have to behave in a responsible manner. This means not driving if the drug makes you sleepy, disoriented or otherwise impaired.
Anyone who’s facing drugged driving charges should ensure they fully understand their defense strategy options. Working with someone who can explain your options and help you to determine which is the best one is critical in these cases.