In Georgia, laws against driving under the influence, or DUI, are not just limited to drunk driving. They also include drugged driving, as well. Because of this, you could be arrested and charged for DUI even if you did not have a single drink before getting behind the wheel.
Drugged driving in Georgia means driving while under the influence of any controlled substance, such as marijuana, heroin, or even prescription medication, to the extent that it impairs your ability to drive.
Included in the list of controlled substances that could result in a DUI charge are cocaine, and crack cocaine. If you have ingested either of these drugs before getting in your car, then you could be at risk of being pulled over and arrested for DUI.
While drugged driving is similar to drunk driving in many respects – such as the general legal process, as well as the penalties that you could face, if convicted – one key aspect is very different. If you get pulled over for drunk driving, the police can ask you to take a breath test. If the breath test shows that you have a blood alcohol content of 0.08%, then the police will arrest you for DUI.
When it comes to drugged driving, however, there is no test that can be used to show that you are under the influence of a drug. Therefore, law enforcement has the discretion of guessing whether you are under the influence of a drug like cocaine. If they think that you are, and that this makes it less safe for you to drive than if you were not under the influence, then they can arrest you for DUI.
This is in large part because of Georgia's policy of “zero tolerance” towards drugs. If the police officer pulls you over and has a reasonable suspicion that you have any cocaine or cocaine base in your system, even if it is just a trace, then he or she can arrest you for DUI.
A drugged driving charge is just as serious as a drunk driving charge, and often rests on even less evidence. However, it can also often spin into other charges, as well, like drug possession or trafficking. Because of this, having an experienced DUI defense attorney is absolutely critical because you have a lot at stake. Call my law office at (404) 816-4440, to tap into Atlanta's premier DUI defense group.