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Columbia Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

KENDRICK & LEONARD, P.C. > Columbia Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

How Serious are Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Charges?

Drugged driving is a common occurrence on South Carolina roads. Many users have turned to other drugs other than alcohol since drugs cannot be tested using a breathalyzer.  But driving under the influence of drugs is illegal. If a police officer suspects that you are on drugs, they can arrest you.

The laws governing drugged driving are the same as those under drunk driving. So if you thought that you would escape punishment, you will be disappointed. Drugs impair one’s judgment when driving, sometimes even more than alcohol. This makes most of them dangerous. When arrested, you will be requested to take a blood or urine test for traces of drugs in your body.

Being charged with driving under the influence of drugs is a serious charge. This is why you need the best DUI attorneys on your side. They will find a way to either have the evidence dismissed or have your case thrown out. Or they may also help you get the minimum penalty for the offense.

What Is Drugged Driving?

In South Carolina, drugged driving is driving while under the influence of a drug or drugs. Any drug that causes impairment when driving is illegal. You may get arrested for any number of drugs in this category.

Marijuana is still illegal in Columbia, SC. Not only is using it illegal, but driving while high will get you arrested. This is true even if you are from a state where marijuana is legal. Once you’re in South Carolina, the implied consent law applies. This means you can be arrested and charged for driving under the influence of drugs once you are on South Carolina roads.

The implied consent law states that you automatically give consent to take a breathalyzer or urine and blood tests. This applies to anyone driving in the state of South Carolina. You can be requested to take any of the tests when a police officer suspects you to be intoxicated. You have the right to refuse to take the test, but this comes with its penalties. If you refuse to take a test, you risk having your driver’s license suspended. The period of suspension is determined by previous offenses. A first offense gets you six months, second nine months and third a year suspension.

 

What Type of Charge Is Driving Under the Influence of Drugs?

Driving under the influence of drugs is a misdemeanor just like drunk driving. However, it may become a felony if it is your third or fourth offense in ten years. If you’re using drugs when you cause an accident leading to death or other losses, the charge will be a felony.

 

Is There a Legal Limit for Drugged Driving in SC?

Unlike driving while intoxicated by alcohol, there is no legal limit when it comes to drugs. When a police officer suspects that you may be drugged and driving, he will request you to take some tests. You may be requested to take a field sobriety test. But you do not have any legal obligation to accept. A field sobriety test result, if negative, may make your case more difficult. It provides additional proof showing that you were on drugs at the time of arrest. The other test you will be requested to take is the blood and urine test. This will prove whether there are drugs in your system. Any trace of drugs can get you charged with drugged driving. This is why you need an excellent DUI lawyer to represent you.

 

Can You Fight Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Charges and Win?

Just like you can dispute drunken driving charges, it is possible to win against drugged driving charges. But you’ll need the help of an experienced DUI lawyer. They will explain how to deal with the charges. You need to be honest with your DUI attorneys and give any detail you remember. This will help in creating a strong defense.

Fighting drugged driving charges is a lot more difficult. It is hard to dispute blood and urine tests, but it is possible. If you are tested the results are positive for THC, your lawyer can argue it doesn’t mean you were high at the time.

This is an excellent and common defense. It is known that THC stays in the fat cells of the body for up to three months. Since there is no legal limit for DUI on drugs, the test may not distinguish when the drug was taken. As a result, a great DUI lawyer can help get charges dropped or get you an innocent verdict.

 

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in SC

The sentence you get depends on whether you’ve been charged with a DUI before.

For first offenders, you may get up to $1000 in fines and between two and thirty days in jail. Instead of jail time, you may be lucky enough to get community service. If you’ve been charged with a DUI before, you might be fined up to $6500 plus court costs. You may face up to three years jail time depending on the offense. You will also have your license suspended for at least a year. You’ll also pay a $100 reinstatement fees after this period. Third-time offenders can be fined up to $10000 and serve up to five years in prison. Also, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least two years. You will be ineligible to request a temporary permit if it is your third offense.

 

Get Help with Your Drugged Driving Charges from Experienced DUI Attorneys

Drugged driving charges are not so simple, so you need a great DUI lawyer to guide you through the case. Kendrick and Leonard lawyers are experienced and qualified in all matters DUI. You will be in great hands. Talk to us today and allow us to review your case. We’ll build the best defense so we can beat those charges together.

KENDRICK & LEONARD, P.C.
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