Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common and serious driving violations in Maryland. Most people think of drinking and driving when they think of people who are charged with DUI. But there are several other ways that individuals can be charged with DUI. These charges may stem from any situation where a person is driving under the influence of a substance that could turn them into an unsafe driver.
A wide variety of substances cause impairment. These substances change the abilities that people need in order to be effective drivers. Several different drugs change reaction time and impact a person’s judgment. They may overcorrect while on the road or fail to stop when they need to. Driving while impaired can cause serious injuries or even fatalities when the driver has picked up any substantial level of speed. These effects are similar with marijuana and more serious drugs such as heroin or cocaine.
The laws around driving while using substances are similar to the laws surrounding driving while drinking alcohol. People who are inebriated or under the influence cannot drive safely or legally. The main difference is that police officers can conduct a quick test to determine whether or not a person is driving under the influence of alcohol. There is not yet a breathalyzer-type test for many other drugs for DUI.
Police officers have to use their own judgment and testing to determine whether or not a person is under the influence. These tests are often recorded by a police dashcam so they can be played back to provide some level of objectivity to a judge or jury. While they are not as certain as the science behind a breathalyzer, they can just as quickly result in serious charges and a conviction for DUI.