Q: What level of meth (methamphetamine) is deemed “under the influence”? Does it count if I am breathing meth in the air at a friend’s house? Is there a base level?

A: An interesting question that’s the subject of much debate within the legal and scientific community right now.  The current answer (unless there is alcohol involved as well) is that there’s no established level of intoxication for meth (or any other drug). Scientifically, there are a number of studies that suggest that some individuals actually drive better, are more alert, with certain amounts of meth in their system. The legislatures in many states are taking a serious look into this, and for many drugs, are attempting to pass statutes prohibiting the use of any amount in the system when operating a motor vehicle despite this scientific uncertainty. So, the issue for you may boil down to whether you were “under the influence” (a defined element) while driving. This might be shown by the level of drugs in your system in addition to objective symptoms, the field sobriety tests, and observed driving. This is a hot-bed area of criminal defense right now.

Take into account that being under the influence of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance are separate charges themselves, and can be felonies depending on the substances. Get a good criminal defense attorney to assist you with this. It is not as easy as it may sound and even many lawyers are not aware the technicalities of DUI-drugs.

If you are in need of legal counsel in a criminal defense matter in California, contact the Fresno based law firm of Hammerschmidt Law Corporation. Our attorneys can be reached at (559) 233-5333. We are also on the web at www.hammerlawcorp.com.