Many people do not realize that driving under the influence of marijuana and other drugs in South Carolina is not only illegal but sometimes subject to unfair, unjust criminal accusations from law enforcement. Law enforcement cannot, at this time, come up with one national standard for determining whether a driver is impaired by marijuana because blood levels of cannabis are not directly related to impairment levels, and there really is no one roadside test to accurately determine whether someone is under the influence of drugs as there is with alcohol. Still, in South Carolina, the penalties for driving under the influence of drugs are essentially the same as that of a DUI.
While every state has some form of a criminal code on the books that addressing driving under the influence of drugs, there is no question that methods of testing and punishments vary widely. Even for those tests that do exist and test for the presence of chemical changes, many point out that they can only determine whether drugs have been taken at some point in the last few days, meaning that someone could very well be arrested and held for the charge without actually engaging in impaired driving. For example, if they took the drugs (including their own prescription of something) on Thursday and their blood tested positive for those drugs on Sunday.
In addition, existing statistics will likely only convince law enforcement departments that states which have legalized marijuana face an increase in crashes compared to those that have not, and that there are, in general, more permissive attitudes about driving under the influence of marijuana with child passengers in the car. Therefore, the belief that officers need to be more and more diligent about identifying drivers on the road that could be potentially impaired by drugs may permeate.
As previously mentioned, in South Carolina, the exact same laws that apply to drive under the influence of alcohol also apply to drive under the influence of any drug or another intoxicant, but while the law explicitly states that driving under the influence of alcohol means specifically having a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 percent, driving under the influence of any drug is essentially defined as being impaired to the extent that one’s ability to drive a motor vehicle is affected.
Contact Our South Carolina DUI Defense Attorneys
When it comes to charges such as driving under the influence in South Carolina, it is incredibly important that you work with an experienced Anderson, SC DUI attorney to provide you with legal advice and represent you if necessary against a criminal investigation and/or charges. These charges could be based on one officer’s subjective judgment, and they could ruin your life. Contact the experienced South Carolina criminal defense attorneys at Thomason & Pracht, LLP to find out more about our excellent legal services in the area of criminal/driving under the influence defense.
Christopher Pracht is an experienced Trial Lawyer who practices in Anderson, SC. He graduated from the Charleston School of Law, and has been practicing law for 10 years now. Christopher Pracht takes pride in representing those who have suffered a severe loss. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.