Police officers in Kentucky have a duty to keep the roads safe. Part of this means trying to find impaired drivers and getting them off the roads. They do this by watching for signs that something is amiss with the driver.
To initiate a traffic stop, police officers must have reasonable suspicion that there’s a law being broken or that one’s already been broken. Watching for signs of impairment, including swerving between lanes or driving erratically, is one way to do this.
In some cases, police officers may determine that a driver is impaired by drugs instead of alcohol. This will lead to criminal charges against the driver. If you’re in that position, learning what you can about drugged driving might be beneficial.
Testing for drugged driving is challenging
Police officers who test for alcohol can rely on chemical testing to get a reading for the amount of alcohol in the person’s system. This is a direct indication of how impaired a person is. There’s not a test that’s accurate in that manner for drugs.
Most drugs remain detectable in the body for long after the effects wear off on the person. Because of this, drug tests aren’t a good way to determine if a person is impaired or not. Police officers have to rely on other methods of determining impairment. A standardized field sobriety test is one of these. In some cases, a driver’s own admission might be a key point in the criminal case.
Not all drugged driving is from illegal substances
In some cases, a person can be impaired by legal drugs. Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications can impair drivers, but it isn’t illegal to take them. Instead, it’s only illegal to drive while you’re impaired. This brings another element of uncertainty into the case, but it’s one that could prove useful in the defense.
Facing drugged driving charges means you need to carefully craft your defense strategy based on the points of the case. Working with someone who can help you to do this is crucial. Be sure you start the planning early, so you aren’t trying to rush through your decisions.