Everyone in Idaho knows they can be arrested if they drive under the influence of alcohol. Fewer know that it’s also prohibited to drive under the influence of an illegal drug. However, many are surprised to learn that even medication prescribed by a doctor can get them in trouble with the law.
If you have been accused of driving under the influence of an illegal drug or a prescription medication, you need to take it seriously. Many drivers believe they’ll get off if they just tell the police they have a medical condition or a prescription. However, that not the case. All DUIs can cause you to lose your freedom, your money, and your reputation. That’s why you need to work closely with a Boise DUI attorney to build a strong defense. Let’s look at some of the things you should know before you get behind the wheel.
Even Cold and Allergy Medicines Can Be Problematic
It’s important that you’re clear about exactly what is considered driving under the influence. You can be arrested, charged, and convicted even if your blood alcohol levels were not above 0.08 or you weren’t drinking at all. The prosecution only needs to prove that you were under the influence of some type of intoxicating substance while in control of a vehicle. Being under the influence means that your ability to drive is noticeably impaired in some way. It doesn’t matter whether the substance involved is legal or illegal.
Some of the most substances that can lead to a DUI charge include:
- Over-the-counter drugs
- Cold and sinus medications
- Pain medications
- Anti-depressants and pain medications
Any substance that makes you drowsy can impair your driving. These drugs usually come with a warning that you shouldn’t operate a motor vehicle. If you ignore that warning and you get caught, you could face charges.
Testing Positive for a Drug Doesn’t Automatically Mean You’ll Be Found Guilty
Some drivers think that if a blood test reveals high levels of a particular drug in their system, they won’t be able to fight the charges. However, this isn’t true. Testing positive for a drug doesn’t mean that your driving was impaired. Each person’s body reacts differently to substances. Also, some drugs, such as marijuana, can be detected in the blood long after their effects have worn off. In addition, some health issues such as kidney problems can slow down the elimination of a drug from the body.
Therefore, even though there may have been a drug in your system when you were pulled over, you may not actually have been under the influence. Don’t throw in the towel and plead guilty because you think you there’s no other choice. If you contact a Boise DUI lawyer at the earliest opportunity, they will listen to the facts of your case and advise you accordingly.
Refusing to Give a Blood Sample Could Hurt Your Case
Some drivers believe that they can escape arrest if they refuse to consent to a blood draw. However, there are penalties linked to refusing. Not only may you have to pay a $250 fine, but your driver’s license is likely to be suspended. When it’s reinstated, you may have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for up a year. An IID may seem pointless since it only detects alcohol, but the law doesn’t differentiate between alcohol and drug DUIs in this regard.
These penalties will no doubt be inconvenient. However, by driving on Idaho’s roads, you give implied consent to a blood draw if one is requested. The police can also seek a warrant for a forced blood draw if they have probable cause to suspect you’re under the influence.
The Penalties for Drug DUIs Are the Same as Those for Alcohol DUIs
There is lots more focus on drunk driving than drugged driving. However, a drug DUI isn’t a less serious offense even if you were under the influence of a simple cold medicine. First-time offenders usually face license suspension, jail time, a fine of up to $1,000, and other penalties.
Let the Attorneys at the Trilogy Law Group Help You
If you’ve been accused of any type of DUI, you need to seek legal advice. Call our Boise DUI lawyers today to discuss your case and learn about the options available to you. We’ll do everything we can to defend you against the charges so book your consultation today!