DUI Drugs Statutes
Most DUI drug statutes contain provisions making it illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. In many statutes, the term “controlled substance,” “impairing substance” or “intoxicating substance” is substituted for the term “drug.” Statutes making it illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs are generally interpreted and applied in the same manner as drunk or impaired driving statutes, except that the presumptive statutes do not apply. Unless an applicable statute contains a restrictive definition of the term “drug,” the term is likely to be given a broad definition by the court.
One example is a case in which toluene, a substance found in paint vapors, was held to constitute a drug for purposes of driving while under the influence of drugs statute. Additionally, there has been instances in which medically prescribed insulin was held to be a drug. If a defendant is charged with the offense of driving while under the influence of a controlled substance, there must be evidence of either consumption of the substance by the defendant or the presence of the substance in the defendant’s body.
Evidence that the defendant was physically impaired and that pills and prescription bottles containing a controlled substance were present in the defendant’s vehicle is not sufficient to support a conviction. Further, even if there is evidence of the ingestion of drugs, if the defendant is charged with DUI drugs, there must be evidence that the defendant’s driving ability was impaired by the ingestion of drugs in order for a conviction to be sustained. The courts are divided as to whether a charge of driving while under the influence of drugs can be based on the use of a medically-required drug. A few courts have reversed convictions based solely on the defendant’s use of a medically-required drug, at least when it was shown that the defendant was unaware of the effects of the drugs.
Other courts have held that the fact that the use of a drug is medically required is not a defense to a charge of driving while under the influence of drugs under any circumstances. Several states have enacted statutes providing that the lawful or prescribed use of a drug is not a defense to a charge of DUI drugs. If you were arrested for DUI due to drugs, don’t wait to find out how a highly-specialized and veteran DUI-DWI lawyer can fight charges against you. TeamDUI.com attorneys near me can be reached 24 hours per day, 7 days a week at 844-832-6384. Contact us for more information, free case analysis, and to discuss our legal services.
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