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Are DUI with Drugs Different from Other DUIs?

In Kansas City, whether you are on the Kansas side or the Missouri side, any form of impaired driving will be categorized as driving under the influence (DUI). This broad definition means that a DUI can be charged against someone who has used alcohol and/or drugs of any kind, including illegal substances and medications out of your own medicine cabinet.

Is there a limit for drugs? It is common knowledge that a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% is the legal limit for adult drivers, but can drugs be measured in the same way? So far, the answer is no. Any amount of drugs detected in your system can lead to a charge of driving under the influence of drugs so long as it impairs your ability to drive. As both a DUI and a DUID incur the same penalties, the main difference between the two is how they are detected.

If you are suspected of a DUID, the officer is likely to ask you to submit to a chemical test, rather than a field sobriety test, as this is a better way to determine if your body has any unusual substances in it. As Kansas and Missouri are both subject to "implied consent" laws, refusal to take any chemical tests can end in an immediate license suspension. This suspension is also considered separate from the criminal charge, so even if you are found innocent of the DUI, you will still have to face a potential license suspension.

Who Are Drug Recognition Experts?

States are beginning to train some of their law enforcement officers to become Drug Recognition Experts (DRE). The purpose of these specialists is to determine with greater accuracy if a driver has been impaired by drugs, and they are usually called upon if someone has passed a breathalyzer test yet still seems to be impaired.

DREs rely on procedures that typically involve checking the eyes and pupils of the suspect, as well as closely studying their motor skills. They can also be looking for paleness in skin, gaunt cheeks, scarring around the elbow joints, and more – signs that people would call "traditional indicators of drug use." These officers and the methods they used are subject to scrutiny under cross-examination by an experienced attorney.

If you have been arrested in Kansas City, in either state, for a DUID and feel that your rights have been violated, you can take legal recourse to defend yourself. Contact Steve Schanker, Attorney at Law, today at 816.607.8860 to learn your options and work with a professional who has been protecting clients for 20 years.

Categories: DUI
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