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Driving Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance in Ann Arbor

DrivingUndertheInfluenceofaControlledSubstanceinAnnArbor.jpgThere are several methods law enforcement officers use to determine if someone is driving under the influence of a controlled substance in Ann Arbor. If you or a loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance, contact my law office for a consultation. Read on to learn more about the methods law enforcement agencies use to arrest motorists who drive under the influence of a controlled substance in Ann Arbor.

Traffic Related Offense

The majority of driving under the influence of a controlled substance cases begin when a driver violates a traffic ordinance such as speeding, making an illegal turn, driving the wrong way on a one way street, weaving or some other form of reckless driving. Violating a traffic ordinance allows the police officer to pull the driver over. Once the officer stops the driver, he/she will look for specific signs of impairment. For example, the officer will look to see if the driver smells like intoxicants, has bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and difficulty following directions like removing proof of insurance from the glove box. If there are potential signs of impairment present, the police officer will ask a series of questions to further investigate the matter. The officer may also request for the driver to perform a series of field sobriety tests, take a preliminary breathalyzer test, or require the driver to come down to the station or local hospital to take a chemical test.

Checkpoints

In Michigan, DUI checkpoints are deemed unconstitutional. However, during the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign, law enforcement officers are able to arrest drunk drivers. For example, during the August summer campaign, police officers arrested 351 drunk drivers. Preliminary reports indicated that police officers made 152 drug arrests and 41 felony arrests. These campaigns are notorious for catching impaired drivers.

Field Sobriety Tests

As mentioned above, if a police officer suspects that a motorist is driving under the influence of a alcohol and/or a controlled substance, he/she will be asked to take field sobriety tests. The standardized tests consist of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, the Walk-and-Turn test, and the One-Leg Stand test. When a person is under the influence of alcohol and/or a controlled substance, he/she will usually be unable to pass any of the tests referenced above. For example, if a driver experiences certain types of eye jerking while undergoing the nystagmus test, it can serve as a sign that the driver may be under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. Being off balance and stumbling are considered signs of impairment under the Walk-and-Turn as well as the One-Leg Stand tests. A well trained officer will also be looking for other cues that indicate impairment during the standardized field sobriety tests. The officer will also ask the driver to submit to a preliminary breathalyzer test where a result of 0.08% or higher is considered a sign of intoxication.

Chemical Test

If a motorist fails the field sobriety tests mentioned above, he/she will be arrested, taken into custody and transported to the police station to undergo a chemical breathalyzer test. If the driver refuses to take the breathalyzer test, the officer will obtain a search warrant for a blood test. If the officer suspects the driver is under the influence of a controlled substance such as a narcotic or marijuana, the driver will likely have to take a blood test as opposed to a breathalyzer. The results of the blood test, if positive for alcohol and/or a controlled substance, will be used to charge the driver with a DUI.

If you are a loved one are arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance in Ann Arbor, contact my law office for a consultation. I can review your case and provide you with legal guidance and advice on how to best proceed.

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