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How do police know if I’m driving under the influence of drugs?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2018 | DUI/DWI |

While field sobriety tests can aid police in correctly determining if drivers are intoxicated from alcohol 90 percent of the time or more, these tests are only 30 percent successful in helping police identify who is behind the wheel while on a marijuana high. This may lead you to wonder how, then, police are able to identify drugged drivers.

Most Georgia police departments use drug recognition experts (DREs) to spot drivers under the influence of some kind of drug. These officers undergo specialized training to be able to spot telltale signs that a motorist is impaired through the use of either prescription medications or illicit drugs.

DREs are taught to look for varied signs when determining whether a driver is likely operating their vehicle under the influence of drugs. For example, they may suspect that someone with a fast pulse rate or dilated pupils has consumed a stimulant such as cocaine. If an individual appears drowsy or has slurred speech, then it may indicate that they’ve taken a sedative or used an opioid. Someone who is agitated, sweating or shaking may be thought to have taken methamphetamines.

Another option that police officers in Hinesville may have at their disposal are new drug testing kits. If they do, then they simply swab a suspected drugged driver’s cheek for four minutes. They then submit it to a Drager 5000 machine that analyzes the sample to see if a driver tests positive for a variety of drugs including benzodiazepines, cocaine, methadone, marijuana, methamphetamine, opioids and amphetamine.

While many motorists tend to think that they can only be charged with DUI for operating a vehicle while drunk, that’s far from the case. At least one-third of all states operate on the premise that driving with any amount of drugs in your system is enough to charge you with such a criminal offense. If that happens, it is wise to find an experienced DUI attorney to protect your rights.