One type of DUI that is often overlooked is New Britain drug DUIs. These include not only the common illegal drugs like cocaine, methamphetamines, and heroin, but also prescription drugs from the doctor that can cause impairment.
What is Drugged Driving?
Connecticut law states that it is illegal to drive while impaired by any type of drug, even if it is legal. Drugged driving is much more complicated to predict and define because it is not as simple as the guidelines for driving under the influence of alcohol, which is defined as driving with a BAC of .08% or higher.
Not only are the guidelines less clear, but the detection of drugged driving is less obvious and harder to define because each drug has different effects on a person. Different types or amounts of drugs in the system can affect each person differently. For example, a small amount of drugs in the system of a person that has never ingested that drug before has no dependency, and therefore, the physical and visual effects of impairment may be different than for a person that regularly uses that same drug and has the same amount in their system.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation with my team. Hope will not fix your Connecticut DUI charge. Contacting us can!
Assessing a Drugged Driver
In Connecticut, law enforcement can use a method for assessing a driver suspected of driving under the influence of drugs. This process is called a DRE evaluation and is somewhat comparable to the standard field sobriety tests that evaluate a person who is suspected to be intoxicated.
However, the DRE evaluation does much more than simply test a suspect’s balance, coordination, and ability to follow directions. It also examines the person’s pulse, pupils, muscle tone, and other physical aspects of the body that are affected by drugs. DRE evaluations may be conducted only by DRE officers who have received specialized training for drug detection.
Typical DRE evaluations by an officer include checking the bodily functions of a person, such as blood pressure, pulse, body temperature, and more. There is a 12-step process that must be followed.
New Britain Drug DUI Penalties
When a person is arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, the consequences that they will face include jail time, community service, fines between $500 and $1,000, license suspension, required use of ignition interlock device, and other consequences with the DMV. The court may also require the defendant to participate in substance abuse treatment, counseling, probation, and a victim impact panel. The drug that was involved in the DUI arrest may influence what other consequences the judge may impose, such as whether the drug used was a legally prescribed drug or an illegal substance like heroin.
As drug laws are changing and the opportunity for more officers to become trained in drugged driving assessment can only increase from here, the possibility of getting arrested for drugged driving also increases. Detection will become more widely used in New Britain and across the state. If you have been arrested for a drug DUI in New Britain, contact Lady DUI today to speak with an attorney.