As more states continue to decriminalize and legalize drugs like marijuana, law enforcement officers are increasingly watching for drivers operating vehicles under the influence of substances other than alcohol. Although the majority of DUI convictions still involve alcohol, the number of DUI charges involving marijuana, prescription medications and illicit drugs continues to rise.
Much like a DUI involving alcohol, a prosecutor must convince a jury that the driver charged with drugged driving was, in fact, “under the influence” of whatever substance was allegedly involved. However, there is no charge for drugged driving that is equivalent to the DUI “per se” charge for alcohol. In other words, there is no base measurement for determining whether a person was under the influence of marijuana or another substance.
The testimony of the arresting officer or an expert witness, such as a toxicologist, may be used to establish a case against you. Evidence such as the presence of marijuana in your vehicle or of THC metabolites in your body may be presented in trial, but it will be up to the prosecution to prove that the substance affected your ability to drive at the time of the arrest.
It is important to note that the definition of “driving under the influence” remains the same, whether the case involves alcohol, marijuana or even prescribed medication. In any DUI case, the prosecution must prove that your ability to operate the motor vehicle was, in some way, impaired.
If you have been charged with DUI in Tennessee, call Knoxville-based attorney Marcos Garza at the Garza Law Firm to schedule a free consultation. Mr. Garza, an experienced DUI attorney who literally wrote the book on Tennessee DUI law, will examine the details of your case and prepare a strong defense that is specific to your situation. Many factors come into play during a DUI court case, and Mr. Garza has undergone extensive forensic training that gives him a distinct advantage over other area attorneys.
Don’t leave your DUI case to chance—call the Garza Law Firm at (888) 680-7554 and schedule a free consultation today.