What comes to your mind when you hear the words DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated)? If you are like most people, you probably think about a person who drives a motor vehicle after drinking alcohol. You are probably thinking about someone who is drunk driving.
Have you ever considered or realized that these terms DUI, DWI can also refer to driving under the influence of either illegal or prescription or drugs. The fact is, they can and do refer to anyone who is driving under the influence (driving impaired) by prescription or illegal drugs, as well as alcohol.
The person who drives a motor vehicle after using psychoactive drugs is a matter of ongoing concern to authorities. Law enforcement officers, attorneys, forensic toxicologists, physicians and traffic safety professionals in every state in the United States have a continuing concern about this issue of drugs and driving. Ways to identify the drug impaired driver on the road, assessment and documentation of the impairment displayed by the driver, the availability of appropriate chemical tests and the interpretation of the subsequent results are some of the things these professionals are concerned about.
The question may be raised, “Do medications or drugs really impair a driver? Is operating a car while taking prescription medication as potentially dangerous as drunk driving?”
The primary concern that officials have is the effect that drugs or medication will have on you as a driver. Driving under the influence of any drug that acts on your brain can impair your reaction time, motor skills and judgment. Driving under the influence of drugs is a public health concern because it puts not only you, the driver at risk, but also your passengers and others who share the road.
Prescription medications and drugs can act on your brain and alter your perception, coordination, balance, reaction time, cognition, attention and other faculties that are needed for safe driving. The effect of specific drugs differs depending on the history of the user, their mechanisms of action, the amount consumed and other factors.
By far, the illegal drug that is most often used while driving or followed by driving a motor vehicle is marijuana. Marijuana is the most prevalent illegal drug that has been found in impaired drivers, motor vehicle crash victims and fatally injured drivers.
Another drug that can cause your driving to be impaired is methamphetamine. It is a highly addictive stimulant that affects your central nervous system. Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant. This means that it has a high risk for abuse, and it is available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled.
However, medical uses of methamphetamine are limited, and the doses prescribed are much lower than those that are typically abused. Most of the methamphetamine abused in this country comes from domestic or foreign superlabs.
However, it can also be made in small, illegal laboratories. When done in this way the production of methamphetamine endangers neighbors, the people in the labs and the environment.
Methamphetamine is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that can be easily dissolved in alcohol or water. It can be taken intranasally (snorting the powder), by needle injection, orally or by smoking.
There are several other names for methamphetamine. Some of these are chalk, hydro, ice, chrissy, speed, whiz, crank, go and rock candy.
The effects of methamphetamine are similar to cocaine. However, the onset is slower, and the duration is longer.
Several of these effects caused by methamphetamine can affect or impair your driving. Some of these effects are:
- Increased sexual desire (libido)
- Euphoria or exhilaration
- Motor restlessness
- Rapid flight of ideas
- Delusions, hallucinations, psychosis
- Increase in heart rate
- Increase in blood pressure
- Increase in rate of respiration
- Irregular heartbeat
- Restlessness, agitation, nervousness
- Violence and aggression
- Lack of coordination
- Sensitivity to light.
This is not an exhaustive list of the possible effects of methamphetamine. There are others that have not been listed. From these that have been listed, it should be obvious to you that driving and the use of methamphetamine should not be done anymore than drinking and driving.
You may have been arrested for dui because of driving and methamphetamine. You may be facing DUI charges because of methamphetamine.
What do you do now? How are you going to handle this? Where can you get the help that you need?
DUI charges and DUI penalties are a serious matter. Even if this is your first DUI arrest, you could be facing time in jail and a long driver’s license suspension. You may also have to attend alcohol and drug classes (DUI School) and do community service. In many states, judges are being required to give out stricter DUI penalties and fines.
Surely, you realize that your DUI defense for methamphetamine is not something that you can handle by yourself. You are going to need the help of an attorney, but choosing the right lawyer can make all the difference in the world.
General and family attorneys are great, but they may not be the right ones to help you as you face DUI charges for methamphetamine. You are probably going to need a DUI attorney who knows DUI laws and can give you the best DUI defense that is possible.
You need a DUI lawyer who handles this type of case everyday. A good DUI lawyer may be able to minimize the damages and fines that you face. A skilled DUI attorney may even be able to have the DUI charges against you dropped.