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Can You Get a DUI Without Drinking Alcohol?

Most people think of driving under the influence as synonymous with drinking and driving, but the truth is that you can be charged with a DUI even if you haven’t had a single sip of alcohol. Let’s take a closer look at what driving under the influence actually encompasses to understand how this is possible.

DUI driving under the influence of illegal drugs

The Real Meaning of “DUI”

The reason people are charged with driving under the influence is most often because they consumed more than the legal limit of alcohol before getting in their vehicle and proceeded to drive erratically or in a way that could potentially cause harm to themselves or others. Contrary to what most assume, there are other scenarios in which a person can be charged with a DUI.

The latter part of the term actually refers to being “under the influence” of any substance that has the potential to cause you difficulty in operating a motor vehicle. Because other drivers and pedestrians rely on the safe driving of others, aside from their own safe driving habits, a person is seen as a danger if they are driving while under the influence of any of the following substances:

Illegal Drugs

The majority of illegal drugs are used for recreational purposes and can have severe effects on a person’s ability to think rationally, see clearly, and use normal motor skills. Their effects can also include delusions, overactive bodily systems, racing thoughts, irrational fears, violent behavior, and many other issues that compromise the safety of the drug user and those around them. Because of this, it is easily possible for a driver who is under the influence of morphine, cocaine, LSD, heroin, or another illegal drug to be convicted of a DUI.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Although you might believe these medications are rather harmless since they do not require a prescription from a medical professional, they can still be dangerous to those using them. Many allergy medications are widely known to cause drowsiness, making falling asleep at the wheel a sure possibility. Additionally, some people take advantage of their ability to easily access over-the-counter medications and end up abusing them. When too much of a seemingly harmless medication is taken, the side effects can be severe and potentially life-threatening, making it unsafe for the abuser to drive while under the influence.

Prescription Medications

Medications that are sanctioned by your doctor or any medical professional are still considered potentially dangerous drugs. Plenty of prescribed medications come with different warnings on the label, one of the most common being the advisement against driving while taking the drug. Even still, drivers will ignore these warnings and attempt to operate a motor vehicle, even when they do not have full mental awareness and complete physical control when under the influence of certain prescription medications.

Ross Albers is Your DUI Lawyer in MD

If you have been charged with a DUI and you were not under the influence of alcohol, we’re here to help you better understand your conviction. In addition to that, we offer legal defense for DUI offenders throughout the state and are committed to ensuring you are treated fairly by the court system while learning from your actions. Contact the professionals at Albers & Associates today for a free consultation.

The post Can You Get a DUI Without Drinking Alcohol? appeared first on Albers and Associates.
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