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Many people are familiar with drunk driving and Ohio’s laws against it. What fewer people may know is that Ohio’s DUI/OVI laws also cover situations in which a driver is incapacitated as a result of narcotics or other drugs. Just like alcohol, drugs can impair a driver’s ability to react appropriately to changing conditions on the roadway and to drive with the appropriate attention and caution. While some drivers intentionally ingest narcotics for recreational purposes, other drivers may be prescribed medications that could compromise their ability to drive appropriately. There are complexities involved when it comes to conducting a field sobriety test and determining whether a driver is under the influence of drugs at the time of the arrest. Cleveland drug DUI lawyer A. Dale Naticchia has provided dedicated counsel and representation to people facing DUI charges in Cleveland, Akron, and elsewhere in Cuyahoga County. He knows how stressful this situation is for you, and we are ready to fight for the justice that you deserve.Ohio Laws Regarding Drugged Driving
In situations involving drugged driving, the police cannot use a breathalyzer to determine whether you are under the influence of a substance other than alcohol. Instead, the officer must base his or her assessment on visual observations regarding your behavior, such as slurred speech, blurry or red eyes, and impaired motor function. Also, if a breathalyzer test comes back negative, but the police believe that other narcotics or drugs are involved, they will administer a blood or urine test to determine whether there are any such substances in your system. Ohio law has set specific limits for the amount of certain substances that can be in your urine or blood, which a drug DUI attorney in the Cleveland area can explain further. For example, Ohio statutes dictate that 150 nanograms per millimeter or more of cocaine in your urine will support a driving while intoxicated charge.
Of course, the officer must first ask you to submit to the blood or urine test, and this often requires taking you to a location where the test can be administered. The officer must obtain consent for the test within two hours of the time that the alleged driving violation occurred, and the sample must be collected within three hours. Many drivers wonder if they can refuse a blood or urine test, but Ohio law clearly states that anyone who drives on a public road has implicitly provided advanced consent to undergo a test. If you refuse, the authorities can suspend your driver’s license for a year. Upon your second refusal, the suspension period increases to two years, and it increases by an additional year for each subsequent refusal.Defenses to a Drugged Driving Charge
There are many different defenses that a Cleveland drug DUI attorney may be able to raise in a drugged driving case. One of the most commonly asserted defenses involves the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. In order to conduct a traffic stop, the police must have a reasonable suspicion that you are engaging in or recently engaged in illegal activity. If the police do not have a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity but stop you anyway, any evidence obtained during the stop cannot be used against you. Another common defense that may apply in your drugged driving case involves situations in which the equipment used to collect the test sample of blood or urine was not calibrated or used appropriately. The authorities must also follow specific procedures when administering a test of this nature, including chain of custody protocols. A drugged driving defense lawyer can help you review the details of your case to determine whether any defenses apply to your situation and whether the charge against you can be dismissed.Schedule a Consultation with a Drug DUI Lawyer in Cleveland
At the Law Firm of A. Dale Naticchia, we pride ourselves on serving everyday people in cities such as Cleveland, Akron, Parma, Bedford, Berea, Rocky River, Garfield Heights, Stow, and Barberton. A drugged driving case can have dire consequences for your professional and personal life. We offer a free consultation to discuss your situation and can ensure that you receive the personalized legal counsel that you deserve. Call us now at 216-520-5297 or contact us online to get started.