DUI Drugs in Montana

Montana DUI law prohibits operating a vehicle “under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” While we usually think of a DUI as involving alcohol, in Montana it could also be drugs (even if you have a prescription). Any substance that impairs your ability to safely operate a vehicle can lead to a charge of Driving Under the Influence. Montana law specifically states that a prescription for a drug is not a defense to DUI. Obviously, a combination of alcohol and drugs can also lead to DUI charges.

Obviously, charges and conviction for DUI Drugs involve a slightly different process than when the charges simply involve alcohol. While a breathalyzer can supposedly detect the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood, it does nothing for narcotics. Instead, a blood test is required to establish the amount of a drug in a person’s system.

Likewise, police officer’s often rely on the “smell” of alcohol on a person’s breath to establish the probable cause necessary to extend a traffic stop. Prescription drugs give off no odor, so the officers have to rely on other indicators to establish a reasonable suspicion. These indicators are often subtle and very subjective, giving your attorney grounds for challenges at trial.

Charges for DUI drugs are complicated and technical. As with all criminal charges, it is a good idea to obtain legal guidance specific to your situation. If you have been accused of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in Montana, I offer a free consultation to discuss your situation. Please call today to schedule an appointment.

Prescription not a defense.

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