Is A-Rod Guilty of DUI steroids?

Question: I got a bet with a friend and was wondering if you could settle it. It's for dinner in Alpharetta and drinks at a bar in Cumming and maybe for good seats to a Braves game. So I've got money on the line. We are huge baseball fans (I like the Atlanta Braves and he likes the New York Yankees) and I told him that since Alex Rodriguez was using steroids that when he drove his car he was also guilty of DUI and that he's a criminal. Because you can get a DUI on drugs and roids are drugs. So since he used roids and drove he was DUI. I know he's not the only major league player to use drugs but maybe they are all DUI then. Am I right?

Answer: That is our first A-Rod-related query. And since we, too, are baseball fans and the Alex Rodriguez scandal is making headlines, your question is certainly timely.

To be found guilty of DUI drugs in Georgia a defendant must be a less safe driver because of the ingestion of said drugs—those drugs can be legally prescribed medication or illegal "street drugs." If someone is stopped by a police officer and the officer believes the driver is a less safe driver because he or she has used drugs, then the officer will try to have the motorist engage in field sobriety tests. The tests are a "tool" used by law enforcement to determine if the driver is impaired. The cop will also ask the suspect to take a blood, breath or urine test.

However, just because an individual has taken drugs does not mean that that person is a less safe driver. Indeed, we do not believe that the use of steroids alone will cause a motorist to be less safe. Many drugs will not have an impact on a person's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Other drugs, even legal drugs, can certainly have a grave impact on the effective and safe operation of a car. That is what DUI laws are there to deter—less safe drivers from getting behind the wheel. So, to answer your question, we believe that Alex Rodriguez, even if he did use steroids, is not guilty of DUI drugs under Georgia law. We don't believe that steroids alone will cause an individual to be a less safe driver.

The same answer is also true for Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Jose Canseco, Manny Ramirez, Ryan Braun or the multitude of other players who, sadly, have been involved with steroids.

We at the Sherman Law Group try to answer as many questions as possible. If you have a question email it to us and we'll do our best to answer it. No names will be used.

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