Like drunk driving, drug impaired driving is a dangerous public health and safety issue with millions of drivers stopped every year under the influence of illicit drugs.
Suspected drunk drivers often undergo field sobriety tests which may include a breathalyzer to determine if they are driving over the legal limit. If a driver has a 0.08 BAC or higher in Wisconsin they are subject to arrest and may face charges of Wisconsin OWI 1st or subsequent offenses that may result in loss of driving privileges, fines, and a period of incarceration depending on the circumstances.
When it comes to testing for drug impairment, however, the testing process is not as efficient. Because there is no breathalyzer to test for drug impairment, law enforcement officers often have had to trust their gut and order blood tests for suspected drugged drivers – results that take weeks to come back from a lab.
Of course in the age of self-driving cars, for any problem there is some techy working on the solution. Coming to a police department near you, is the latest and greatest in drug impairment testing in the form of a handheld device that can measure oral fluids for drugs with results available in minutes. Although the devices are in limited use in the U.S., having just cleared a pilot program in Michigan, the use of handheld drug testing devices will likely figure prominently in the near future.
As with any tool adopted by law enforcement to test for impairment, oral fluid testing has its strengths and limitations, worth noting because it will likely become the most prevalent means of testing for DUID at the roadside stops. Advantages such as ease of collection and a shorter window of drug detection are overshadowed by the usual suspects of technical issues with the test, the potential for passive contamination, and possible procedural problems that may lead to charges of Operating under influence of intoxicant or other drug charges, whether one is guilty or not.
Facing a Wisconsin Drugged Driving Charge?
Contact Our Waukesha Criminal Defense Lawyer For Help
Common drunk driving defenses from improper stops to improper administration of a field sobriety tests to challenges over whether a breathalyzer was properly calibrated and maintained will be just as relevant when defending someone charged with DUID when using an oral liquid drug testing device. Perhaps the most important takeaway is the importance of working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend against Wisconsin OWI or operating under the influence of intoxicant drug charges. Waukesha criminal defense attorney Andrew C. Ladd has decades of experience with Wisconsin OWI drugged driving charges and he has successfully had the OWI charges reduced or dismissed. Contact our office at 262-542-3900 to schedule your free confidential consultation.