Alcohol is not the only intoxicating substance which can result in a Georgia DUI. Cocaine, an illegal drug, can seriously affect a driver's perception, reaction time, and ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. If you were pulled over by Georgia law enforcement while driving under the influence of cocaine, you face serious criminal penalties.
Just because you are charged with DUI does not mean you are guilty. An experienced Fulton County DUI attorney will defend your case so that the charges are possibly reduced or even dismissed.
What is Cocaine?
Most people are aware that cocaine is an illegal drug. In fact, it is a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning that cocaine has a high potential for abuse but can be administered by a doctor for legitimate medical purposes, such as for local anesthesia.
Cocaine can be found in "rock" form and is commonly referred to as "crack" cocaine. On the street, cocaine is typically a white powder which is often diluted or "cut" with other substances such as:
- Talcum powder,
- Creatine powder, or
- Baking Soda.
Increasingly, cocaine has had incredibly strong psychoactive substances, like fentanyl and carfentanil, added, making it more potent, more addictive, and highly dangerous.
What are the Effects of Cocaine?
Cocaine causes psychoactive effects, including feelings of:
- High energy,
- Mental alertness,
- Hypersensitivity to light, sound, and touch.
It can also cause physiological effects such as:
- Increased heart rate,
- Dilated pupils,
- Increased body temperature,
- Higher blood pressure,
- Constricted blood vessels.
If the cocaine has been "cut" with other psychoactive drugs, the side effects of those drugs can also severely inhibit your ability to drive.
How Can This Affect My Driving?
Those under the effects of cocaine tend to have unpredictable decision-making. They are significantly more likely to attempt high-risk driving and are easily distracted by outside stimuli. Drivers under the influence of cocaine are reckless, making them dangerous.
When a driver is not actively intoxicated, they may be suffering withdrawal symptoms. These include:
- Unusual fatigue or sleepiness,
- Poor attentiveness.
Each of these effects can cause you to drive improperly, leading to a traffic stop.
Police Testing for Cocaine Impairment
If you are pulled over and Georgia police officers are suspicious you are under the influence, they will most likely test you for impairment. Usually, this first occurs with a roadside breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests. Breathalyzer tests only test for alcohol impairment, and cannot detect drugs.
Field sobriety tests are used to determine whether you are intoxicated through tests of balance, observations of your eyes, or other methods. These tests are known to be inaccurate. However, if you are arrested, you will be subjected to chemical tests at the police station, such as blood and urine tests, which can detect the presence of drugs.
Georgia is a "zero tolerance" state, meaning that any amount of drugs in your system is too much. Proof of drugs in your system along with a police officer's testimony that you were intoxicated can be enough to sustain a DUI charge.
Consult a Fulton County DUI Attorney
Just because you are charged with a DUI, does not mean that law enforcement has sufficient evidence to prove you were intoxicated. In fact, you may not have actually been intoxicated. You should not face a criminal conviction as a result.