Were you really impaired just because you had drugs in your system?

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2021 | DUI |

When someone is arrested on allegations of drunk driving, one thing the police will often do is to give them a breath test or a blood test. This can show if they have alcohol in their system. Based on the level, the police can often determine if they were impaired or not. This is why the legal limit is set at a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, which is when this impairment can be assumed.

However, you can face impaired driving charges if you’re under the influence of drugs, and not just alcohol. These same drugs may show up in a blood test, a urine test or a hair test, just to name a few. But, if they do, does that actually mean that you were impaired at the time?

How long do these drugs last?

It’s not always as simple as you may assume. The issue is that a lot of drugs will stay in your system long after they have stopped impairing your ability to drive. So the police may be able to show that you used drugs at some point, but that is not always necessarily the same as showing that they affected you behind the wheel.

For instance, marijuana can be detected through a hair test for 90 days or more. It can be detected in a blood test for up to 30 days.

If you use marijuana, it may only actually impair your ability to drive for a few hours. But it’s not being measured like alcohol. This could mean that the police assumed you were impaired based on the test they use when you really used marijuana days ago or weeks ago, and it’s not having any impact on you while you drive. If you do find yourself facing serious charges as a result, you must know what legal options you have.