The most common reason for someone to get charged with driving under the influence of a substance is if they’ve been drinking alcohol. This is illegal if there is any level of impairment and there is a legal limit of 0.08% in terms of blood alcohol concentration.
Most drivers are well aware of this limit and the fact that they’re not supposed to drink and drive. That doesn’t stop everyone from doing it, but they know that they could face legal charges if they’re caught.
What’s important to note is that you can get impaired driving charges for more than just alcohol. How else could this happen?
Are you taking medicine?
In some cases, you may be taking a strong medicine, such as a painkiller. If the medicine says that you’re not supposed to take it and then operate heavy machinery, don’t just think about machinery that you may use on the job. Your car or truck also counts. If you take this medicine and then get behind the wheel, the officer could still arrest you for being impaired, even though you would correctly tell them that you haven’t had anything to drink.
Did you use recreational marijuana?
Marijuana was recently legalized for recreational use in Illinois, which has been a shift that is in line with what’s happening in many other states. This means that you can legally buy and use it and you don’t have to worry about ramifications. Keep in mind, however, that you still can’t drive if you’re high. You have to treat marijuana the same way that you would treat alcohol and only use it when you’re not in the car.
What’s different about a case like this?
There are a lot of potential differences if you’re facing impaired driving charges that don’t involve alcohol, most notably that a blood alcohol concentration isn’t going to be used. The police cannot measure other types of impairment in the same way that they do alcohol. They may have to rely on field sobriety tests or other measures, such as drug tests.
This can have a big impact on what evidence they can produce and what it shows about your case. Be sure you know about all of your legal defense options if you’re facing these types of charges.