If you are pulled over under suspicion of a DUI, you may be wondering how cops can tell the difference between an alcohol based arrest and a drug based arrest. Here is what you need to know about how cops identify a DUI.
How to Identify Alcohol Impairment
With alcohol impairment and drug impairment, the first sign might be that the driver cannot stay in his or her own lane. Cars may swerve out of their lanes or may drive erratically. Then, when pulled over, drunk drivers tend to slur their speech, may smell of alcohol and cannot usually complete field tests. The officer can also ask for the driver to complete a breathalyzer test to check for alcohol use.
How to Identify Drug Impairment
Drugs do not show up on a breathalyzer test. If an officer suspects that you are under the influence of drugs, then he or she will have to use other methods to test you. Keep in mind that when it comes to drug impairment, this does not necessarily refer to illegal drugs. You can face a DUI arrest for prescription drugs also. Any medication that can cause drowsiness or that warns you not to operate large machinery while taking can be a risk on the road.
In order to identify if a person is on drugs, the officer will have you take a number of different tests. He or she will follow through with field tests and also look for any signs of drugs. For instance a person may act out of the ordinary, he or she may be completely unaware of the situation that he or she is in. For instance, he or she may not speak to the officer as if he or she has been pulled over or may be unable to follow instructions. In addition, drugs can alter the way that a person looks. For instance, if a person has dilated pupils, slurred speech and poor coordination, he or she may be under the influence.
Once an officer has reason to believe that the person is under the influence of drugs, he or she an order a blood test. In addition, an officer may check other vital signs, such as the pulse.
DUIs can be serious charges and this is why cops need to be thorough when charging a person with a DUI. There are several tests that can help officers determine if a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Consult with a DWI attorney in MD as soon as possible to learn more.
Thanks to The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into criminal law and drugs vs alcohol in a DUI.