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Impaired driving also means being under the influence of drugs

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Criminal Defense

People often think of drunk driving when they think of someone being arrested for impaired driving. Certainly, many impaired driving cases indeed revolve around alcohol, and this is why most people end up facing charges.

But it is also important to remember that impairment can come from many sources. Anytime someone is too mentally or physically impaired to safely operate their vehicle, they could be arrested. They do not necessarily have to be under the influence of alcohol for this to happen.

Illegal drugs

For one thing, someone could be impaired by illegal drugs. It’s illegal to drive under the influence of hard drugs like heroin or even more common substances like marijuana.

One of the problems with these types of arrests, though, is that it’s difficult to test for them. For instance, while companies are working on roadside tests for marijuana that would operate similarly to alcohol breath tests, they do not exist yet. So a failed drug test may indicate past drug use, but not necessarily impairment.

Prescription medications

It’s also illegal to drive under the influence of some prescription medications, such as those that warn they can make you drowsy. This is why it’s important to read all the instructions. Many prescriptions say not to operate heavy machinery. People tend to think of operating a crane or a chainsaw, but this usually just means they shouldn’t drive their car.

Impaired driving charges 

Are you facing charges for driving under the influence of a substance, such as those noted above? Be sure you know about all of your legal defense options.