If an Indiana police officer believes that you are driving under the influence of a controlled substance, he or she may take you into custody and charge you with a drug DUI. However, it’s important to note that there is no guarantee that you’ll be convicted of the charge. There are multiple defenses that you may be able to use to get a charge dropped or obtain an acquittal.
There is no way to know when a driver has ingested a substance
Traces of a sleeping pill, THC or other substances may remain in a person’s body for hours or days after their effects have worn off. Therefore, an officer might detect traces of a controlled substance in the blood or urine of a person who is sober enough to safely operate a motor vehicle. A DUI attorney would likely use that fact as a method for creating reasonable doubt in your case.
There may be alternate explanations for what an officer observed
Let’s say that an officer observed your vehicle swerving across multiple lanes of traffic at 3 a.m. In such a scenario, he or she may perceive your inability to stay in the proper lane as a sign of impairment. However, it may actually be a sign that your tire just blew out or that you were attempting to avoid an object in the road. In some cases, a seizure or an unexpected allergic reaction to the fish that you ate for dinner may have caused your erratic driving.
Did you intend to operate a vehicle while under the influence?
Claiming that you were compelled to drive after being forced to consume a controlled substance may be a valid defense. Alternatively, it may be possible to assert that you didn’t know that a cookie, brownie or other pastry that you had recently eaten was laced with marijuana or other substances.
If the authorities charge you with drugged driving, it is advisable to contact an attorney. Doing so may help you avoid jail time, a license suspension or other potential negative consequences.