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How is drugged driving proven and what are some defenses?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Lawmakers and peacekeepers alike feel obligated to address the widespread problem of driving while intoxicated. That’s why field sobriety tests designed to detect alcohol impairment exist.

However, many people face DUI charges without having even one drink of alcohol. Driving while incapacitated by drugs is also a form of DUI, and the possible consequences if convicted are just as severe.

How do police establish drugged driving?

The field tests used to establish an alcohol-involved DUI are not infallible, but they at least have a degree of reliability when administered correctly. However, no one has yet developed field tests that prove drugged driving reliably.

Police officers must use their observations about the motorist while relying on tests developed to detect alcohol, not drug impairment. Even drug recognition experts use their senses more than tests to establish reasonable suspicion of drugged driving. 

What are your defense options if arrested?

You can use many of the same defenses used in alcohol incapacitation cases. Examples include police procedural errors, rights violations and lab testing mistakes or inaccuracies.

Another possible defense is arguing that you were not unfit to drive at the time of the arrest. This strategy may be effective when your blood test reveals the presence of drugs because many substances (like cannabis) can stay in your system for weeks.

The point is not to give up. Take your story to someone who understands Maryland DUI laws and can help you create a strategy to defend yourself. Since the possible consequences include time in jail and costly fines, it is unwise to let chance rule your fate.

Seek experienced legal guidance to learn more about defending against DUI and drugged driving charges.