Chemical testing and penalties associated with drugged driving

| Jan 4, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Alabama requires any person driving within its borders to follow an “implied consent” law. This law requires those suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol to consent to chemical tests including breathalyzers, blood or urine samples. Refusals to comply with the law can lead to penalties in addition to penalties associated with a DUI conviction.

Chemical Tests and Drugged Driving

Implied consent does not apply to individuals suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana or other controlled substances. Those stopped while driving can decline to provide a chemical sample to test for drugs in the body. Although a driver may still be charged and convicted of a DUI, but there are no additional penalties for the refusal to comply with a chemical test.

Penalties

Because drugged driving can lead to a DUI conviction, defendants can be subject to the same penalties as those convicted of a DUI of alcohol. Penalties vary based on jail time, license suspension, fines, and number of prior offenses.

Consequences can be even greater when young children are riding in cars at the time. Addressing short and long term consequences of DUIs are often stressful, but a supportive legal team can alleviate confusion and navigate complex court rules and procedures.

Prescribed Controlled Substances

Alabama’s DUI laws are broad enough to cover individuals who legally ingest controlled substances. A common situation occurs when individuals with prescribed substances consume an amount that impairs the ability to drive.

Although legal consumption can avoid illegal possession charges, it cannot be used as a defense against a DUI charge. Assessing mental and physical capacities before getting behind the wheel can help avoid drugged driving.