At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, we have been defending those who have been charged with DUI in Cobb County for nearly twenty years. Over the past 20 years our lead Cobb County DUI attorney Richard S. Lawson has successfully resolved more than 4,500 DUI cases and he has been lead counsel at the jury trials and motion of hundreds of Georgia DUI cases. During the past few years, we have seen more DUI-drug related arrests than we experienced in our early years. We believe that an increasing percentage of our population is medicated at any given time. One reason for this is due to our aging population whose health needs is associated with growing older.
Another contributing factor is the frequency for which people are taking daily medications for conditions such as ADHD, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and pain. It's only natural to assume that the more people that are medicated, the greater the pool of people who are susceptible to a DUI-drug arrest.
Alcohol-Related Arrests Decrease, DUI-Drug Arrests Rise
We have seen a decline in the overall alcohol-related arrests thanks to alcohol awareness campaigns by such organizations as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) and other anti-drinking and driving campaigns. Since these awareness campaigns have reduced the number of drunk drivers on the roadways, in contrast, there has been an increasing population of medicated DUI drivers. Therefore, it just makes sense that there would be an increase in DUI-drug arrests and charges.
In recent years, there has been a growing trend in the increased frequency of DUI arrests for driving under the influence of either legal or illicit drugs. Although alcohol was typically assumed to be the reason people were arrested for DUI, recent trends have indicated that police officers are now expanding their assessment of drivers to include those who are impaired by a legal or illegal drug as well. Most Georgians are aware that they can be arrested for driving under the influence of an illegal substance such as marijuana; however, many people are shocked to find out that they can be arrested for driving under the influence of their lawfully prescribed medication, or even an over-the-counter cough, cold, or allergy medicine.
Cobb County Prescription Drugs & DUI Lawyer
Presently, police officers have an enormous amount of discretion when assessing for impairment by any drug or substance. They often times make conclusions based on field experience or own instincts. Unfortunately, many times their assessments or conclusions are wrong. This is a worrisome development in DUI law because at this point, there are virtually no studies quantifying any illegal or legal drug use with driving impairment level. What's more, the standardized field sobriety tests that most police officers use are not designed to detect impairment of drugs.
DUI-drug charges carry the same or similar penalties as DUI-alcohol cases; however, they contain a few fundamental differences. Under the law, if a driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) is above .08% or greater, then they are too impaired to drive an automobile. On the other hand, with a DUI-drug case, no quantitative amount of any drug or substance causes a known level of impairment. In fact, even if a blood test shows a high level of a prescription drug in a person's system, neither a crime lab witness nor a toxicologist can state that the drug level means the person was impaired.
This is extremely valuable for the defense and it's much harder for the state to prove a DUI-drug case than a DUI-alcohol case. To learn more about prescription drugs and DUI, contact a Cobb County DUI attorney from the firm without delay.
Contact a Cobb County DUI lawyer to discuss the details of your DUI-drug case.