Many people think that driving under the influence (DUI) is only about drunk driving, but unfortunately this is not the case. In Georgia, you can be arrested and charged for DUI even if you've had absolutely not one thing with alcohol to drink. This sort of thing can happen because DUIs don't just make it illegal to drink and drive: They also make it illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs.
Drugged driving, in Georgia, means being in control of your car while under the influence of any controlled substance, such as marijuana, heroin, or even prescription medication, to the extent that it makes it less safe for you to drive.
A drug is a “controlled substance” if it's under regulation by the government. Therefore, cocaine and cocaine base – also known as crack cocaine – is one of the drugs that could lead to a DUI charge, in Georgia.
For the most part, a charge for drunk driving and a charge for drugged driving is the same, from the legal process to the penalties that you could face, if you get convicted. However, there's one crucial detail that makes drugged driving cases much, much more problematic – the kind of evidence that can lead to a conviction.
If you get pulled over for drunk driving, you'll almost certainly be asked to take a breath test. If the breath test shows that you have a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or above, then you'll be arrested for DUI.
However, if you get pulled over for drugged driving, there is no blood alcohol content to measure. So instead of taking a breath test, the police officer will make an educated guess as to whether you're under the influence of cocaine or not. This is a lot of discretion to give to a cop, and can often result in a very stressful arrest that you didn't deserve at all.
This is all because Georgia has a “zero tolerance” policy towards drugs. While you can have a little bit of alcohol before driving without facing DUI charges, you can't have any drugs in your system, at all, not even a trace.
Drugged driving charges are serious, and can often lead to other drug-related charges, like possession or trafficking. Hiring a DUI defense specialist to help fight against your drugged driving charge can make a huge difference in the outcome. Call me to let me help you defend yourself against a drugged driving charge: (404) 816-4440.