In South Carolina, you can be charged with driving under the influence of prescribed or over-the counter drugs or medication in addition to driving while under the influence of illicit drugs.
Police officers in Florence, Darlington and Horry counties are cracking down on drugged driving and taking extra care to recognize drivers who are on medication.
“The law says you are breaking the law if you are driving while impaired. That’s it,” Florence Police Sgt. Mark Mims told SCNOW.com. “It doesn’t say anything about whether what you’re taking was prescribed or not.”
Mims is one of twelve officers in the area trained through the International Drug and Evaluation Program, created by the Los Angeles Police Department in the 70’s to develop a simple, consistent procedure for recognizing drivers impaired by drugs.
The officers had to complete a training course to help them recognize drug impairment beginning with a three-phase Drug Evaluation and Classification Program, which included 16-hour pre-school training. Then, the officers completed a 56-hour practicals phase in which each candidate had to complete a minimum of 12 drug evaluations under the supervision of a trained DRE instructor.
Officers hope this will be a wakeup call to drivers who ignore the warning labels on their prescription drugs.
DRE’s are trained to recognize signs of drug impairment, especially when they can tell someone is noticeably under the influence, but is not registering on a breathalyzer.
Next time you read “do not operate heavy machinery” on your prescription’s label, think twice about taking a drive.
Getting arrested for DUI does not mean that you are guilty or that you do not have any rights. The South Carolina DUI Defense lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC offer a free, no cost case consultation. Contact us today at 803-252-4800.