You may think that DUI charges only concern alcohol. However, you could find yourself facing these charges if you are under the influence of drugs.
Drugged driving has become a more common offense in the past several years. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 12.6 million people used illegal drugs before driving in 2018.
How do drugs affect your driving?
Different substances can have a significant impact on your ability to drive. Methamphetamine and opioids, for example, affect your judgment and thinking. You could be more likely to drive recklessly and make poor maneuvering decisions. Marijuana, conversely, can affect your coordination, and make it harder for you to judge distance accurately. Even some prescriptions can cause impairment. Different medicines might make you feel dizzy or tired.
All these substances can increase your chances of getting into a collision. Taking opiates before driving, for example, doubles the likelihood of an accident.
What are the consequences of drugged driving?
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, drugged driving can have a serious impact on your life. If you receive a conviction, you may need to pay a fine of up to $10,000. A California court could also suspend your license in some situations.
Additionally, there could be numerous collateral consequences. Your insurance company could raise your rates, for example. A drugged driving conviction would also go on your record. This can make it harder to gain certain types of employment.
Some drugs, such as prescriptions and marijuana, are legal in certain contexts. If your charges stem from one of these substances, you might need help demonstrating that you were not trying to break the law.