When most people think of driving under the influence, they assume the charge refers to driving under the influence of alcohol. Did you know, however, that you can also be charged for driving under the influence of a controlled substance? Commonly known as “drugged driving,” the penalties for a conviction of driving under the influence of a controlled substance are every bit as serious as they are for the same charge involving alcohol. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance, you should know that Cass County DUI attorneys also defend drugged driving charges.
What Does the Nebraska Law Say about Drugged Driving?
Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6,196 governs driving under the influence, reading as follows:
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or be in the actual physical control of any motor vehicle:
(a) While under the influence of alcoholic liquor or of any drug;
(b) When such person has a concentration of eight-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per one hundred milliliters of his or her blood; or
(c) When such person has a concentration of eight-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of his or her breath.
Note that under section (a) it reads “While under the influence of alcoholic liquor or of any drug” (emphasis added). The law is very clear that a motorist can be charged and convicted of driving under the influence for being under the influence of a controlled substance as well as alcohol. Moreover, the controlled substance in question does not have to be an illicit substance. On the contrary, you can be charged with driving under the influence for being under the influence of a legally prescribed medication or even an over-the-counter medication.
How Do Cass County DUI Attorneys Defend Drugged Driving?
Although drugged driving is included in the same statute as driving under the influence of alcohol, it can be more difficult for the prosecuting attorney to prove. First, only a blood or urine test will show the presence of a controlled substance in your system. The more commonly used breath test can only detect alcohol. Even if you were given a blood or urine test that came back positive for a chemical substance in your system, the prosecuting attorney must still prove that you were “under the influence” of that substance. Proving that can be more difficult because it is subjective. The statute provides an objective method of measuring when someone is under the influence of alcohol through the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. If your BAC level is over 0.08 percent you are presumed to be under the influence. There is no objective test for being under the influence of a controlled substance. In addition, there are a wide range of factors that might impact the effect that any substance would have in your system, such as:
- Your gender
- Your height and weight
- When you ate last
- Medical conditions
- Whether it is a substance you regularly take
- How long ago you ingested the substance
The bottom line is that Cass County DUI attorneys know how to evaluate the facts and circumstances of your case for drugged driving and prepare the best defense possible. If you are facing charges for driving under the influence of a controlled substance, do not assume that the State will convict you until you have taken the time to consult with an experienced Cass County DUI defense attorney because there is a very good chance that you may have a defense that could prevent a conviction.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in the State of Nebraska, it is in your best interest to consult with the experienced Cass County DUI attorneys at Petersen Law Office as soon as possible. Contact Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.