Heroin, an illegal drug, can seriously hinder a driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. It can affect your perception, judgment, and ability to remain conscious. If you were pulled over by Georgia law enforcement while driving under the influence of heroin, you face serious criminal penalties.
Just because you are charged with DUI does not mean you are guilty. There are ways to challenge a Heroin DUI charge. An experienced Georgia DUI attorney will defend your case so that the charges are possibly reduced or even dismissed.
What is Heroin?
Most people are aware that heroin is an illegal drug. Heroin is made from morphine, a substance which occurs naturally and is extracted from certain varieties of poppy plants, specifically from the seed pod. Pure heroin is a white powder, has a bitter taste, and mainly originates in South America and Southeast Asia.
Heroin is a Schedule I controlled substance and is highly addictive. It typically is sold on the street as a white or brown powder or may be a sticky black substance referred to as black tar heroin. The drug is most commonly injected but can also be snorted or smoked.
Heroin is often cut with other substances and can include other dangerous opioids that significantly raise the risk of overdose.
What are the Effects of Heroin?
Heroin causes psychoactive effects by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, including feelings of:
- Euphoria or "high",
- Moving back and forth between conscious and semiconscious states,
- Clouded mental function,
- Mental confusion,
- Loss of consciousness.
It can also cause physiological effects such as:
- Warm flushing of the skin,
- Dilated pupils,
- Collapsed veins from injections,
- Liver disease,
- Constricted blood vessels.
If the heroin has been "cut" with other psychoactive drugs, the side effects of those drugs can also severely inhibit your ability to drive.
How Will Heroin-Use Affect My Driving?
Those under the effects of heroin can easily lose consciousness while driving. Loss of consciousness can result in crashes, causing injury or death to yourself or others. With heroin, there is also a high risk of overdose, which can be incredibly dangerous if you are driving.
The mental confusion caused by heroin-use will make it difficult to pay attention to road lines, stop signs, stop lights, and other drivers. A Georgia law enforcement officer can pull you over for erratic driving, failing to signal, or any other traffic infraction. This will likely lead to testing to determine whether you are impaired.
Police Testing for Heroin Impairment
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 heroin in your system is too much. However, law enforcement must still prove that you were intoxicated while driving and that it affected your driving, making you "less safe."
Consult a Georgia DUI Attorney
Just because you are charged with a DUI, does not mean that law enforcement has sufficient evidence to prove you were intoxicated. A highly experienced Georgia DUI attorney has the knowledge and skills necessary to fight your charges. Contact us today.