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Know what can happen if you drive after taking drugs of any sort

Many people know the dangers of drunk driving, but some people don't realize the dangers of drugged driving. People tend to think that some drugs, such as over-the-counter and prescription drugs, as well as marijuana, are safe to use before driving. This isn't the case. Drugged driving can lead to serious penalties.

It is possible to face criminal charges for drugged driving. While there aren't tests that can be done at the scene of the traffic stop to determine the level of drugs in a person's system, it might be possible to use blood or urine tests to determine what is in the person's system. This might not necessarily mean that the person was impaired when he or she was stopped because some drugs linger in a person's system long after the effects abate.

If you are facing charges for drugged driving, there are several ways that you might be able to defend yourself against them. Oftentimes, these cases might hinge on the observations of the officer who pulled you over. Calling this into question in your defense might be useful. The status of the drugs might also come into the picture in these cases.

One thing that you have to remember is that you can face drugged driving charges even if you are taking something legally. For example, taking a Xanax or a Tylenol with codeine is legal if you have a prescription for the drug. If you are stopped and found to be impaired because of the drug, you can still face charges. The same is true for over-the-counter drugs like Benadryl that might impair your judgment.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Drugged Driving," accessed Aug. 18, 2017

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