While many people usually think about alcohol impairment when they hear about someone who’s arrested for impaired driving, it’s not the only substance that can lead to these charges. It’s possible that legal medications or illegal drugs can cause a driver to become too impaired to drive.
One of the challenges that come with impaired driving that doesn’t stem from alcohol is that it’s often difficult to prove that the person is impaired. Police officers can count on chemical tests to tell them how impaired a drunk driver is, but there aren’t any reliable tests that can tell an officer how impaired a person is from drugs. Many drugs remain in the person’s system for longer than the impairment lasts.
What types of substances can lead to impairment?
Many common over-the-counter and prescription medications can cause drowsiness and dizziness. The same thing is true for illegal drugs. Both can affect a driver’s ability to respond properly to roadway hazards or changes in traffic patterns.
A person who’s stopped for the suspicion of impaired driving will likely be asked questions and may be instructed to do a field sobriety test. This can help the officers to gauge impairment, but they aren’t perfect. Medical conditions and other factors can all affect the results of those tests.
Anyone who’s facing a criminal charge for impaired driving should ensure they get immediate assistance with this matter. There are many time-sensitive aspects of these cases that must be considered. Getting started on your defense strategy quickly helps to ensure that you don’t miss out on any of those that might help you.