Driving under the influence charges don't all involve alcohol. In some cases, these criminal charges involve drugs. Interestingly, it is possible to face a DUI charge for driving with drugs in your system even if the drugs you are taking are prescribed or over-the-counter. The fact is that all drugs that can impair your ability to drive can lead to DUI charges.
Different types of drugs have different effects on your ability to drive. Some drugs, such as benzodiazepines, can cause you to become drowsy and dizzy. That might lead to an accident.
Methamphetamine and cocaine might lead you to drive in an aggressive manner. Marijuana can decrease your motor skills and slow your reaction time. All of these effects can be dangerous on the roadway.
If you combine alcohol with the use of any drugs, there is a chance that the alcohol can make the effects of the drugs more pronounced. When marijuana and drugs are used in conjunction with each other, law enforcement officers might not even know. In many cases, if a person takes a chemical test for alcohol and the blood alcohol concentration is at or above the legal limit, there might not be tests done for drugs.
Drugged driving charges are serious charges that must be defended vigorously. Taking all of the circumstances into account can help to determine what defense strategy to use. An example would be if you were taking legally prescribed medications and didn't realize how they would affect your ability to drive. That point might be a critical element for your defense.
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse, "DrugFacts: Drugged Driving," accessed Jan. 15, 2016