In Tennessee, driving under the influence (DUI) may be committed when a driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol. The consequences of a conviction for driving under the influence of a controlled substance are just as serious as an alcohol DUI. Fighting a drugged driving charge may be effective to prevent a conviction and excessive penalties. Nashville DUI lawyer Bernie McEvoy has the experience and knowledge to defend drivers in cases involving allegations of drugged driving. If you have been arrested on charges of this nature in Davidson or Williamson County, he can protect your interests and seek a positive outcome in your case.Tennessee Drugged Driving Offenses
A Tennessee DUI may be charged for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. Specifically, Tennessee law provides that it is illegal to drive or be in physical control of a motor vehicle in a public area while under the influence of alcohol, or any drug, controlled substance, substance that affects the central nervous system, or a combination thereof that impairs your ability to safely operate the vehicle. It is important to note that you can be arrested for drugged driving if you are impaired by any drug or medication that affects your mental clarity or control of yourself. This includes any over-the-counter medication or any lawfully prescribed medication taken as directed by a doctor. In many situations, people are unaware that consuming alcohol while taking certain medications may have a significant impact on their systems. Nevertheless, driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs may result in a DUI.
Drugged driving charges may arise from other Tennessee DUI offenses, including child endangerment, vehicular assault, and DUI refusal, among others. The penalties that may be imposed for a drugged driving conviction are typically the same as in a drunk driving case. A first-time drug DUI is a Class A misdemeanor offense in most situations. A conviction may result in a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 48 hours, a fine between $350 and $1,500, installation of an ignition interlock device on your car, and other consequences. The penalties may be increased for a repeat DUI or aggravating factors.
The defendant may be subject to additional penalties if convicted of other crimes arising from the drug DUI arrest. In many drugged driving cases, the defendant may face charges for drug crimes as well as a DUI charge. If the defendant had cocaine, meth, or any other illegal drug in his vehicle during the DUI stop, for example, the defendant may be charged with a drug offense. Likewise, the defendant may be charged with a prescription drug crime if he is in possession of pharmaceutical pills that were not prescribed to him.Evidence in a Drugged Driving Case
The evidence in Tennessee drugged driving cases may be different than the evidence presented in an alcohol DUI case, and a defense attorney can evaluate the evidence in the case to develop a strategy against the prosecution. A breathalyzer test cannot determine the existence or the amount of a controlled substance in a person’s system. However, the prosecution may use the chemical test results of a blood sample provided by defendant as evidence that the defendant was driving while impaired by drugs. During the case, the prosecution may have the arresting officer testify as to the defendant’s completion of field sobriety tests, and the officer’s observations of the defendant’s driving, behavior, and appearance during the stop.Consult with a Nashville Lawyer for a Drugged Driving Charge
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, retaining a Nashville attorney with experience defending drugged driving charges can help. Bernie McEvoy is skilled in all areas of DUI defense law, including drugged driving cases. He can represent people in criminal cases throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties, particularly Franklin and Nashville. Schedule a free consultation regarding your case by calling The Law Office of Bernie McEvoy at (615) 255-9595 during the day or (615) 804-8779 on evenings and weekends, or completing our online form.