Poly-Abuse Driving Attorneys

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 What is Poly-Drug Abuse?

Poly-drug abuse refers to consuming a combination of drugs and alcohol to achieve a certain type of high. This type of abuse can be dangerous due to the interaction between substances being unpredictable.

What is DUI?

DUI, or driving under the influence, is an offense that may involve alcohol or drugs. Every state in the United States has its own version of a DUI statute that prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle while being under the influence or operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by a substance which is known to impair an individual’s motor skills.

Certain states use different classifications for DUIs which involve different substances, including:

  • Alcohol;
  • Illegal drugs; and
  • Over the counter medications.

In some states, other types of vehicles may be included, such as:

  • Bicycles;
  • Mopeds; and
  • Golf carts.

There are some other names which states may use to identify the offense of DUI. These include:

DUI, driving under the influence, and DWI, driving while intoxicated are often used interchangeably, but may be separate and distinct charges. Whether an individual is charged with a DUI or a DWI may depend on the type of drugs or alcohol that the individual has in their system at the time of their arrest. If the individual is participating in poly-drug abuse, they may be charged with either crime.

What Substances may be Included in DUI Laws?

Substances that may be included in DUI laws are any substances which may impair an individual’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. These substances may also include legal substances.

The legal substance that is most commonly included in DUI laws is alcohol. There are, however, other substances which may be included in a DUI charge. These substances may include:

  • Illicit or illegal contraband drugs, such as:
    • heroin;
    • cocaine;
    • PCP; and
    • other drugs;
  • Marijuana;
  • Prescription medication such as:
    • painkillers;
    • sleeping meds;
    • muscle relaxers; and
  • Over the counter medicines, including antihistamines, such as Benadryl.

If a doctor has prescribed medications for an individual that come with a warning label that states they should not operate heavy machinery, it is likely that using this medication while driving can result in a DUI charge.

What are Common Signs of Poly-Abuse?

There are some common signs of poly-abuse. These signs include:

  • Tremors in the hands, feet, or head;
  • Red, watery eyes;
  • Cold, sweaty palms;
  • Inability to sleep;
  • Poor physical coordination; and
  • Staggered or slowed walk.

What is Poly-Abuse Driving?

Poly-abuse driving occurs when an individual consumes drugs and alcohol and then operates a motor vehicle. As noted above, an individual who does this may be charged with a DUI or a DWI.

What is Implied Consent as it Pertains to a Driver’s License?

Every state in the U.S. has a version of the implied consent law as it pertains to having a driver’s license. This information is often printed on the back of an individual’s driver’s license.

Implied consent provides that as a condition of receiving a driver’s license, an individual consents to chemical testing for alcohol or drugs if they are arrested or under investigation for DUI. Chemical testing typically includes a breathalyzer test or a blood or urine test at a hospital

Individuals may refuse to take these tests. However, they may be subjected to additional penalties and fines. They may also face suspension of their driver’s license, depending on the laws of the state.

Driver’s licenses are regulated by the government. If an individual does not comply with the requirements for having their driver’s license and the requirements for safely operating a motor vehicle, the government reserves the right to revoke their license.

What is Per Se Intoxication?

Some states have a per se intoxication law that provides if an individual has a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or higher, they are presumed to be intoxicated even if no other evidence of intoxication is present. In some states, including Colorado, per se laws regarding marijuana have been enacted which provide that 5 nanograms of active THC in the blood can be considered per se under the influence while driving.

What are Zero Tolerance Laws?

Many states have zero tolerance laws for drivers who are under age and have any alcohol in their system. Pursuant to zero tolerance laws, any amount of alcohol may cause a minor to face a DUI charge.

However, there are many states that provide and promote diversion programs for young adults who qualify. These programs can provide probation as well as treatment instead of a conviction.

Can Someone be Arrested for a DUI if their BAC is Lower than the Per Se Intoxication Limit?

Yes, an individual can be arrested for a DUI if their BAC is lower than the per se intoxication limit. If an individual was driving while impaired, even if their BAC was below the legal limit, they may still face legal charges.

Law enforcement can articulate other evidence of driving while impaired, which includes:

  • Visible weaving;
  • Slurred speech;
  • An odor of alcohol; and
  • Failing field sobriety testing.

If an individual is arrested for DUI or DWI and their BAC is less than the legal limit, it is important that they contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A DUI conviction may be very expensive. It can also affect an individual’s life in a number of ways, including:

  • Higher insurance premiums;
  • Being excluded from education opportunities; and
  • The loss of professional licenses.

Can I be Charged with Poly-Abuse Driving?

There is not a charge known as poly-abuse driving. The individual may be charged with some type of crime that involves driving, drugs, and alcohol.

The type of charge an individual will face depends on the amount of drugs or alcohol that was in their system at the time of their arrest or accident.

What Charge May I Face for Poly-Abuse Driving?

An individual may face a charge of impaired driving, which includes:

  • DUI: Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol;
  • OVI: Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs; and
  • DWI: driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The specific charge an individual will face depends on the facts that surround the traffic stop and what substances were in their system.

Can I be Charged with More Crimes?

Yes, an individual may be charged with more crimes. An individual who is accused of poly-abuse driving may face higher or tougher charges depending upon whether they caused serious bodily injury or death to another individual.

Can an Attorney Help Me with My Poly-Abuse Charge?

It is essential to have the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are facing criminal charges due to poly-drug driving issues. It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Your attorney can review your case, determine if any defenses are available to you, and attend any court appearances with you. Your attorney may also be able to reduce or eliminate the charges against you.

As previously discussed, DUI and DWI charges can be very serious, expensive, and have life-changing consequences for you and your loved ones. This may include not being able to drive and not being able to find employment. For these reasons, it is essential to have an attorney on your case.


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