Driving under the influence is not limited to drinking and driving. Many DUI arrests in our state are based on the use of drugs which impair the driver's ability to safely handle a vehicle. It is illegal to operate an automobile or truck while under the influence of drugs, because of the effects which narcotics can have on a person's senses, including delayed reaction time and reduced judgment.
Tennessee law enforcement does not distinguish between legal and illegal drugs when it comes to DUI. Regardless of whether you were caught with a controlled substance in your system, or if you had taken a prescription drug, the state does not want you on the road.
When a drug affects your mental or physical ability to drive, you are facing the possibility of being arrested and charged with a DUI. The drug can be an illegal street drug, such as:
Even legally obtained prescription drugs can result in a DUI if the warnings about driving after taking the drugs are not followed. Some of these prescription drugs include Oxycontin, Oxycodone, hydrocodone, antidepressants, prescription antihistamines, prescription pain medications, and other medications prescribed by your doctor which negatively impact your driving ability. The issue at stake is not the type of drug you took, but whether or not your impaired driving ability makes you an unsafe driver.
The penalties for DUI in any case are severe, including license suspension, jail time and stiff fines. If the arresting officer discovered any quantity of an illegal drug, either a street drug or an unlawfully obtained prescription drug, you may face criminal charges for possession. A DUI involving drugs is especially serious and if you find yourself in this situation, you need to meet with a hard-hitting DUI attorney to discuss the case and find out what your options are for protecting your rights.
Both attorneys with Parkerson Santel, PLLC served for many years as prosecutors in the local courts and know how the district attorney's office will approach your case. Individuals who are charged with a DUI that involves drugs routinely face the maximum penalties, and it is necessary to prepare a sound argument for defense before entering negotiations or going before a judge. In many situations it is possible to bargain for a reduction of charges, but each case is unique. Parkerson Santel, PLLC can help you discover the strategy with the best chances of success when he meets with you in person.