Most people needing a DUI Drug Defense thought that the law only law forbids driving a vehicle under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. This is not true. Under Georgia law, driving under the influence of a drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug is also a DUI. The typical elements of this offense that must be proven in order to convict you are that you drove (operated) a vehicle—that is, you were in control of the vehicle, and while you operated the vehicle you were less safe to drive.
As for the operation requirement, it usually is satisfied by a police officer or a witness who saw you driving. On occasion, however, especially after an accident, you may be out of the car when the officer arrives and the operation element is proven either because you admit you were driving or the officer deduces from all the evidence that you were driving.
This part however is where the differences between an alcohol and drug DUI can take a serious turn. The historic impairment tests (eye gaze nystagmus, walk and turn, and the one legged stand) do NOT apply to testing for the impairment of DUI drugs. Most people and few officers know this. In addition, a breath test is not given, but typically urine (the least accurate test) is requested. We have experts who can challenge the fact you may have a legal or illegal drug in your system. Even if you do, how much of that drug is in your system? This is especially true with legal drugs.
That does not mean however that you cannot be convicted of DUI. Every year people get convicted or plead to DUI because they think there is no change and a DUI Drug Defense is just too expensive. It is true on an illegal drug case, the State can suspend your license for either offense, but there are also ways to keep your license for the illegal drug charge is the DUI is disposed of.
One thing is certain. If you don’t act your driver’s license WILL typically be suspended after 10 days. If you are convicted of DUI you WILL received a MINIMUM $300.00 fine plus statutory add-ons. You WILL Receive at LEAST 40 hours of community service, you WILL get your driver’s license suspended for one year, you WILL be required to have a drug and alcohol evaluation at your own expense, you WILL attend a risk reduction school (at your own expense) and pay a reinstatement fee on top of that, and typically, you WILL have to attend a MADD victim impact panel. This is JUST what happens in court, but also your insurance can be canceled, a job could be lost, educational opportunities can be lost.
Don’t let this happen to you. Whether it is us or someone else, consult an attorney. NOW.