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DUIs aren't just for alcohol -- drugs can trigger them too

When you hear the phrase "driving under the influence" or you hear about someone being arrested for DUI, it's likely that you automatically picture someone who is drunk because they had a few too many alcoholic beverages. Most people think of DUIs this way: a person drinking too much alcohol. But there is another way that anyone can receive a DUI, and that's driving under the influence of drugs.

Drugs don't even necessarily have to be your typical illicit substances, such as cocaine or heroin, in this context. A prescription for your doctor could lead to a charge for driving under the influence of drugs. Even certain over-the-counter medications could lead to such a charge if consumed in too great of a quantity.

The point we're trying to make here is that anyone can get caught for driving under the influence of drugs because everyone -- not just "drug addicts" -- uses drugs. We use drugs prescribed by our doctor and we buy drugs over the counter from our grocery store. These substances can result in a serious criminal charge if they aren't properly handled and consumed.

Another thing to remember about driving under the influence of drugs is that there is quite a bit of gray area when it comes to determining a person's drug intoxication level. The chemical THC, commonly associated with marijuana, lingers in the blood stream for weeks, meaning it is hard to conclusively determine a person's THC level at the time of a traffic stop when two weeks later they may show similar THC levels.

Source: FindLaw, "Driving Under the Influence of Drugs," Accessed Dec. 15, 2014

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