Let us introduce to you a recent news story….
A man aged 47 recently had an encounter with the Tennessee police, who pulled him over because he was traveling at excessively high speed. Speeding alone is an infraction, but the police later discovered that the man had been under the influence of chemicals that could impact his driving ability. A news report claimed that the man was an Uber driver and had been awake for more than 24 hours, with early reports claiming that he had indicated driving for Uber throughout that time period.
The man informed police that in an effort to remain awake, he had taken a prescription stimulant called Adderall. Later, he admitted to having also taken an anti-anxiety medication known as Xanax and an over-the-counter medicine usually used for coughing called Nyquil. His charge was driving under the influence, or DUI.
It is a well-known fact that it is illegal to drive while one is under the influence of virtually anything that can alter their perceptions or ability to react to road conditions. This group of potential DUI chemicals includes any kinds of intoxicants, narcotics, marijuana, or even stimulants that may even include energy drinks. Alcohol is spelled out as being .08 percent in concentration as measured through either a blood test or a breathalyzer test.
The Uber driver was well aware of the harshness of Tennessee’s typical penalties, as they concern DUI violations. He had been convicted in the past. One recent TV news report indicated that the driver had to serve 11 months and 29 days after his unrelated conviction for driving while intoxicated back in 2009.
Uber was willing to confirm that the driver did perform trips for the company, but they also confirmed that he had not been driving for them at the time of his arrest. The company indicated that when the driver was pulled over, he had not given a ride for Uber in more than 12 hours.
Uber was also quoted as saying that according to Tennessee law, one is ineligible to drive for Uber if the individual had been convicted of a DUI inside of seven years prior to attempting to provide Uber rides. This had not affected the man’s ability to drive for them, as his conviction had been nine years previous.
It is unclear about any further details beyond what is publicly known from the media reports, but it is well known that in Tennessee one can be arrested and convicted for DUI even for doctor prescribed medications. If the medication interferes with your ability to react or your overall cognizance, DUI laws apply and you can be tried to the same extent as if you had been drinking and driving. The penalties are potentially very harsh in either case.
If you have a DUI and are facing charges for alcohol or any kind of drug, it is best not to go it alone. Your best decision is to speak to a law firm such as Herbert & Lux, who have experience working with DUI defense.