Impaired driving is a leading cause of vehicular death in North America. In order to prevent it, you should make sure that you know the facts about this crime. You might find yourself asking, “What is impaired driving?” After all, many people talk about it but few people define it. Reading on will help you to understand what impaired driving is, what the potential penalties are, and what you can do to prevent this problem.
Definition of Impaired Driving
Impaired driving includes anything that prevents you from having full awareness of the road and proper judgment while driving. The most common form of impaired driving comes in the form of drunk driving or driving while high, which can pose a danger to yourself and everybody else on the road. These drivers typically get charged with driving under the influence, or DUI for short. Not every DUI charge has a strong case behind it, as police and prosecutors occasionally make mistakes that can see a person charged when they are actually not impaired. However, these unnecessary charges often go undetected unless the defendant gets legal DUI assistance from a lawyer with experience in the area.
Detecting Impaired Driving
While breath, blood, and urine tests can all detect alcohol or drugs in a driver’s system, the first methods a police officer uses to determine impairment usually come from simple observation. Somebody who is impaired by alcohol or drugs has slower reaction time and reduced coordination, meaning that field sobriety tests can often detect the problem. Other telltale signs include the smell of marijuana, redness in the eyes, or slurred speech during a traffic stop. Additionally, people who are impaired by a foreign substance often have pupils that move erratically, which tips off a police officer that a further sobriety test is needed. All of these factors can lead to legal charges against you if an officer believes you to be driving while impaired.
Preventing Impaired Driving
The Canadian government attempts to prevent impaired driving through steep legal penalties that include fines, the loss of your driver’s licence, and potential jail time. You can avoid all of these problems by taking certain precautions against getting behind the wheel while under the influence of a foreign substance. For starters, know the situations where you are likely to drink or use recreational marijuana. Plan to have a designated driver or to use public transportation in those situations. If you have to drive to and from a location, give yourself enough time before getting behind the wheel. At least an hour after drinking should be enough to get alcohol through your system unless you drank heavily.
The punishment for impaired driving can leave you with hefty fines, a criminal record, and the potential loss of your licence. Take proper precautions whenever you can. If you do find yourself facing these charges, consult a DUI lawyer at your earliest opportunity. This will give you the help you need in order the mount a proper defence.