DUI does not always equal Drunk Driving: Recognizing that other Substances can Impair your Ability to Drive

It is hopefully a safe presumption that most adults know that drinking alcoholic beverages can impair one’s ability to drive.  It can slow your reaction time and dull your decision-making capabilities to name just a couple of potential effects.  However, not everybody recognizes that a DUI does not always equal drunk driving: there are other substances which can impair one’s ability to drive and so also make one as guilty of Driving Under the Influence as someone who was driving drunk.

According to Tennessee Code Annotated sect. 55-10-401 (in layman’s terms, one of the leading Tennessee laws on DUI’s), not only can a person be guilty of DUI if driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”) over 0.08, but also if the person operates a vehicle while “[u]nder the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, controlled substance, controlled substance analogue, drug, substance affecting the central nervous system or combination thereof that impairs the driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle by depriving the driver of the clearness of mind and control of oneself which the driver would otherwise possess . . . .”

Accordingly, there is a long list of substances that, if consumed prior to driving, could justify a charge of DUI.  Some of those substances that might justify a charge of DUI are (and this is NOT an exhaustive list): alcohol (obviously) prescription medication AND over-the-counter medicine (many people do not realize that, even if it is legally prescribed or purchased, and even if they are legally taking it, they can still be convicted of DUI) , illegal drugs, items which should not be inhaled (“sniffed”) but which sometimes are such as aerosol cans and household cleaners, and even items such as bath salts (for those of you who are not aware, bath salts have come to be something of a problem over the past year or two; click here to be directed to a WebMD article on bath salts).

In summary, there are many substances which might cause one to DUI, not just alcohol.  If you or someone you know have been charged with DUI, please contact an attorney in your area to discuss your case.  If you would like a free consultation with Nicholas W. Lee, Esq., author of TNLawyerLee and attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee, please click here.


The author of TNLawyerLee is Nicholas W. Lee, Esq., an attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee.  If you or someone you know need an attorney, please click here for Mr. Lee’s contact information and contact him today for a free consultation.  Also, please feel free to visit Mr. Lee’s website, www.TNLawyerLee.com or follow his page on Facebook for updates as to his law practice or new posts to TNLawyerLee by clicking here.

The information on this site is general information and should not be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and you should consult with an attorney in your state about the specific details of your case. Nothing on this site or in correspondence with Nicholas Lee or his agents shall be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship and information you send prior to the forming of an attorney-client relationship may not be kept confidential. Neither this site nor correspondence with Nicholas Lee or his agents shall be construed as a promise nor as undertaking a duty regarding you or your case. Nicholas Lee and his agents are not retained as your legal counsel unless a valid written Representation Agreement is reached regarding your specific case.

Copyright © 2012. Nicholas W. Lee, Attorney at Law. All rights reserved. This site’s content may not be used without the prior written consent of Nicholas Lee.


One comment on “DUI does not always equal Drunk Driving: Recognizing that other Substances can Impair your Ability to Drive

  1. […] about DUIs previously (click here to read “DUI, or Driving Under the Influence;” here to read “DUI does not always equal Drunk Driving;” and here to read “6 Ways […]

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