Victims of DUI Accidents Involving Drugs Can Seek Help from VA DUI Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured by a driver who was under the influence of anything that impaired them including, prescription, over the counter, and illegal drugs, it may be in your best interest to discuss your situation with DUI lawyers Alexandria, VA residents can rely on.
When many people hear “driving under the influence”, they automatically assume the driver was under the influence of alcohol. However, alcohol is only one of the many substances that affect a driver’s ability to operate a car. If someone is driving under the influence of prescription or over the counter medications, or illegal drugs, they can also be arrested and charged for a DUI. Driving while impaired from a drug is just as illegal as drunk driving and can be cause for a driver to be charged for a DUI, even if it was legally prescribed to them by a medical professional.
Drugs affect drivers differently. Any drug that affects their judgement, concentration, motor skills, or alertness, are considered just as dangerous as alcohol. If you are injured by someone who is under the influence of one or more of them, it is a good idea to find out what your rights are with the help of DUI lawyers from Alexandria, VA or ones who are licensed to practice in the state where the DUI accident occurred.
How is Drug Impairment Measured
If a driver is pulled over and found to have a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.08 percent, it is illegal in Virginia as in most other states. Alcohol leaves the body fairly quickly, so it is fairly easy to measure a driver’s BAC during the time the traffic stop takes place. Breathing into a Breathalyzer is also very accurate, so if a driver has a reading of 0.08% or more, they will be charged and arrested for a DUI.
This is not typically the same case with drugs. For instance, some components of marijuance are able to stay in someone’s bloodstream or urine for up to a month after they use it. Because of this, it is difficult to conclusively prove that the driver was impaired by that drug at the time of their arrest. On the other hand, cocaine usually leaves the body fairly quickly, staying no more than two days. To determine if there were drugs present in the driver, there is usually a blood sample or a urinalysis.
Regardless of what has or has not been done to determine if a driver that injured you or a loved one was under the influence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. DUI lawyers from Alexandria or who ones who are licensed to practice throughout VA can help you to determine whether or not you should pursue a personal injury claim.
“Per Se” Laws
It is more difficult to prove that a driver is under the influence of drugs than it is to prove they are under the influence of alcohol. Some states have “per se” laws which make it illegal to drive a vehicle if there are any detectable traces of specific drugs in the driver’s system.
Over the Counter and Prescription Medications
Some medications that are bought legally at a drugstore are just as hazardous for drivers as alcohol is and can cause a DUI. It is important to read warning labels and speak to your pharmacist if you are questioning how a drug can impair you.
If a driver lives in a state where medical marijuana is legal with a doctor’s note, they can still be charged with a DUI. If the police officer was able to gather enough evidence of the driver being impaired by the medical marijuana, simply having a medical exemption is not valid as a defense. If the medical marijuana causes impairment it is then treated the exact same as any other prescription drug that could affect one’s ability to drive.
DUI charges for alcohol are pretty straightforward, however, when other substances become involved it can be tricky. It is important to speak with an experienced lawyer if you or someone you love has been injured by someone who was driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
For highly rated personal injury DUI lawyers Alexandria, VA DUI accident victims and their families recommend, contact Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for a free case evaluation any time of the day, any day of the week.