You’re having a rough day. You feel a bad cold or a flu coming on, so you slog your way through work with the help of some over-the-counter cough syrup and head home as quickly as possible.
When you see the flashing lights from a patrol car in your rearview mirror, you’re surprised — after all, you weren’t even speeding. It only takes a moment, however, for the officer to tell you that they pulled you over because you were weaving a little or totally missed a stop sign.
Be careful what you say next
You decide that honesty is the best policy, so you admit to the officer that you aren’t feeling well. The officer says, “Did you take something?” You point to the bottle of cough syrup sticking out of your bag.
The next thing you know, you’re under arrest, charged with a DUI.
How is this even possible? Well, in Tennessee (and most other states), drugged driving falls under the category of “driving under the influence” even when that drug is nothing more than non-prescription cough syrup.
Tennessee law specifically states that someone can be charged with a DUI for driving while under the influence of any drug that — alone or combination — “impairs the driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle by depriving the driver of the clearness of mind and control of oneself that the driver would otherwise possess.”
By telling the police officer that the cough syrup was making you a little muddled, sleepy or careless, you’re essentially confessing that you’re driving while on a drug that affects your ability to drive safely.
If it’s already too late, get help
If you’re reading this and you’ve already made this mistake, you’re far from alone. Most people do not realize how easy it is to fall into a trap and be accused of driving under the influence of drugs.
The smart thing to do now is stop talking and call an experienced defense attorney. Please continue viewing our website for more information that may help or make an appointment to talk about your case.