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Can You Get a DUI for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs?

DUI Charges and Drugs

While many people know that driving with a blood alcohol content of over 0.08% can result in a DUI—How do the laws apply to driving under the influence of drugs? Can you be charged for a drug-related DUI?


The answer to this question is yes, but additional explanation is required. It is important to realize that various drugs will affect drivers in different ways, so in many cases, drug-use will be considered just as dangerous as a driver intoxicated with alcohol.

How is drug impairment measured?

When a person drives under the influence of alcohol, they may have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above a certain level. If it is 0.08 or higher, that means that they are committing an illegal offense in all 50 American states. With breathalyzers, this BAC can be measured will more often result in a conviction on DUI charges. However, if a person is under the influence of drugs other than alcohol, things can get a bit more complicated.


The way drugs interact with a person's system is not as cut-and-dry. For example, the THC in marijuana tends to stay in the urine or bloodstream of a person for at least a month. On the other hand, cocaine will normally dissipate and be undetectable in a person's system after a couple of days. In response to this, more and more jurisdictions are training some police officers to become what is known as "Drug Recognition Experts" which have experience in determining whether a motorist is impaired by drugs or not. They will generally look for specific cues, such as eye movement or behavioral indicators rather than physical measurements.

Contact An Okemos Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, it's imperative to talk to an Okemos criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You shouldn't have to face the charges alone because doing so could result in penalties that you shouldn't have to pay.


Call White Law today (517) 316-1195; our team can help protect your rights.