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Interviewer: Which do you encounter more frequently? Alcohol-related DUIs or drug-related DUIs,whether it’s prescription or illegal? Is one more complicated than the other to defend?
Dale: Actually, it’s more complicated for the prosecutor to prosecute a case concerning drug-related DUI, especially concerning use of prescription drugs. Prescription drug cases are more complicated. This is due to the difficulty of measuring the levels of prescription drugs in the system, For example, if you have been prescribed Soma for back pain and you’ve taken it for years, there is no accurate way to measure the amount in your system.
Also there is no stated level that would indicate diminished capacity for someone taking Soma. It’s not as simple as stating, if the level is X amount, then the driver is impaired.
The only measurement will indicate a metabolite in your blood, which is a byproduct of Soma. It’s not what’s actually in your blood at the time. It’s what you’ve accumulated over the course of months or even years, and this could indicate a very high reading. But there’s not necessarily a relationship. It’s how much of a particular prescription drug is in your blood.
The same is true for marijuana. The measurement will indicate a marijuana metabolite, which is a THC metabolite, which is a byproduct of the marijuana. Far after it’s had its effect, that metabolite will still be still be in your bloodstream. Which is one reason why people who use marijuana on a daily basis are always at risk.