Many Massachusetts residents know that drinking and driving can lead to a lot of trouble. However, it is just as important to keep in mind that drugged driving can also have serious consequences if a police officer stops you.
You may not think drugged driving, especially on a substance like marijuana, would be as big of an issue as driving while drunk. Still, accidents can happen any time a person is impaired while behind the wheel, which is why authorities take such offenses seriously.
Is it as dangerous?
Drugs can affect drivers in many of the same ways that alcohol can. Even if you take a prescription medication provided by your doctor, you could still experience effects that diminish your driving abilities. As a result, you could face an OUI arrest. Some ways that drugs, particularly marijuana, could affect driving abilities include the following:
- You could experience a decrease in hand-eye coordination.
- Your perception of time and distance could face negative effects.
- You may have slower reaction times.
- You may not have the ability to concentrate as fully.
- Your short-term memory functions could suffer from impairment.
- You may experience drowsiness.
- You may think you are alert when you are not.
Often, drugs remain in a person’s system much longer than alcohol does. As a result, you could think that you are perfectly able to drive, but a police officer may feel differently. If an officer does stop your vehicle and suspects you of operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could end up facing serious criminal charges. An OUI charge will likely stem from such a scenario, but if you were involved in an accident that caused injuries or death, you could face more severe allegations.
Defending against charges
Fortunately, even if an OUI charge does come against you for drugged driving, you have the right to defend against the charges. It may work in your interests to gain information relating to the exact allegations you face, assess the circumstances of the arrest and look into your available defense options. Understandably, you may feel overwhelmed by your ordeal, but you can contact an experienced attorney who could assist you through every aspect of your case. Having a legal advocate on your side may allow you to feel more confident.