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Impaired driving doesn't always involve alcohol

Many people falsely believe that alcohol is the only substance that can lead to an impaired driving charge. It is possible for a driver to face this type of charge if they are impaired by other substances, including street drugs, over-the-counter medicines and prescription medications.

The key factor in all of these cases it that the substance reduced your ability to drive safely. You have to be able to pay attention to the road and react appropriately to hazards and obstacles. When anything slows down your reaction time or takes away your ability to concentrate, you might face criminal charges.

Some of the common side effects of drugs that might signal it isn't safe to drive after taking them include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Nausea or vomiting

It is more difficult for police officers to prove impairment when the substance is something other than alcohol. With alcohol, they can do a blood alcohol concentration test to determine how much alcohol is in your system. Since alcohol leaves the body fairly quickly, the test is highly reliable for figuring out a person's impairment level.

Drugs and medications don't leave the body as fast as alcohol. You can test positive for some drugs long after the effects have worn off, which means that tests aren't as reliable. Instead of relying on these tests, officers rely heavily on signs of impairment, such as those demonstrated during field sobriety tests.

Working on a defense for these charges is often a complex undertaking. Thinking about your options might help you to decide on a course of option.

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An Award-Winning LawyerFirm founder Dustin R.T. Sullivan has been recognized as one of the leading attorneys in North Carolina. His accolades include:

  • Super Lawyer2017 Rising Star in DWI Defense Super Lawyers of North Carolina
  • Superior DUI Attorney 20162016 Superior DUI Attorney ranking for fourth consecutive year by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense
  • Super Lawyer | Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Selected In 20172016 Public Service Award for Legal Aid of North Carolina
  • 10 Best 2017 | Attorney | Client Satisfaction 2015 10 Best Client Satisfaction Award by the American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys
  • NAFLA2015 Top 10 Ranking by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys
    • Top Rated On AVVO
    • Review Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Avvo
    • Top Contributor Award 2014 | Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Avvo
    • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Top Attorney
    • 2014 Top 100 Attorneys in North Carolina by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense
    • nafdd
  • StarNews Media | Finalist for Best Attorney2013 Finalist for Best Attorney in Cape Fear region by Wilmington Star News
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3490 Old Ocean Highway
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