When most people here the term “driving under the influence” or “DUI,” they immediately assume that it refers to being under the influence of alcohol. What people do not realize, however, is that driving under the influence can also refer to being under the influence of drugs. In that case, it is referred to as “DUID.” The penalties for a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs are every bit as serious as the penalties for a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, if you have been arrested and charged with DUID you need to take your situation seriously. Fortunately, most Omaha DUI lawyers handle DUID cases as well as DUI cases. The best thing you can do for yourself, and for your future, is retain the services of an experienced Omaha DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
“Driving Under the Influence of Drugs” – An Increasing Problem in the U.S.
Just about everyone knows that drinking and driving is both dangerous and a criminal offense at this point. What everyone may not know, however, is that driving under the influence of drugs is both dangerous and illegal as well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been studying the driving under the influence of drugs problem for decades and has released some fairly powerful data. The NTSA first began conducting roadside surveys in 1973, asking people about their use of controlled substances and/or alcohol before driving. Since they started conducting surveys, the number of drivers who tested positive for alcohol in their system has declined by more than 75 percent; however, in 2013 and 2014 the surveys showed that 22 percent of drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect safety, including both “street drugs”, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter-medications. Recent surveys indicating that the number of drivers with marijuana in their systems grew by nearly 50 percent over a recent seven-year period, increasing from 8.6 percent in 2007 to 12.6 percent in 2014.
What Is Illegal?
Law makers have spent a considerable amount of time in the last few decades making sure it is now easier to convict a motorist of driving under the influence of alcohol with the use of the presumptive BAC level. The same statute, however, can be used to convict a motorist of driving while under the influence of a controlled substance. Specifically, Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6,196 states:
(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; (Emphasis added)
(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.
Notice that the statute also includes being under the influence “of any drug.” Although it appears to be added as almost an afterthought, rest assured that you can be convicted of driving under the influence of drugs. If a police officer believes you are under the influence of something other than, or in addition to, alcohol, you will usually be asked to submit to a blood or urine test instead of a breath test because the breath test machine can only detect alcohol in your system.
How Do Omaha DUI Lawyers Help?
If you are facing charges for DUID you need to consult with an experienced attorney right away because a conviction could result in a number of negative consequences, including lost employment opportunities, disqualification for professional licensing, even interference with parenting time with young children. Your Omaha DUI defense attorney may be able to offer a valid defense in your case that will prevent you from being convicted.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs, or DUID, in Nebraska contact the Omaha DUI defense lawyers Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense attorney.