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Is Driving Under the Influence of Cocaine a Crime?

A DUI charge can be directed at any person that is driving after consuming any chemical substance, whether legal, prescribed, or completely illegal. While alcohol-related DUIs are the most common, driving when impaired by any substance can leave a driver susceptible to a DUI charge.

How can law enforcement prove a cocaine DUI?

When someone is pulled over and a police officer suspects they are under the influence of drugs, they may ask the driver to perform some of the sobriety tests that are similar to those using alcohol. A field sobriety test and a breath test can be used to determine any level of impairment. If a driver has not consumed any alcohol, the breath test will read zero.

A drug recognition expert can be called to the scene to weigh in on the actions exhibited by a driver and if these indicate drug use. If they also suspect drug usage, they can also for a blood or urine test to check for substances. Similar to an alcohol DUI, if a driver refuses these tests, it is seen as an admission of guilt and their refusal can lead to a license suspension.

Some signs a drug recognition expert will look for a cocaine DUI are:

  • Dizziness
  • Excitation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Euphoria

One of the problems for law enforcement when testing a driver for drugs in their system is that they have no evidence to prove when they consumed the drugs and whether or not it had a marked effect on their driving. Further, there is no way of proving that the drug recognition expert called to the scene will know how to accurately identify signs of drug use and impairment.

This is why a DUI defense attorney should be involved in any case when a driver is suspected of driving under the influence of cocaine. Our firm knows that drugs do not affect every person the same way, and it can be hard to tell whether or not the effects of the drugs contributed to impaired driving.

Categories: DUI, DUI and Drugs
Tampa DUI Defense Attorney Thomas & Paulk, P.A. Attorneys at Law