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Ecstasy and DUI in Virginia

Oct. 24, 2019

Driving while under the influence of drugs in the Commonwealth of Virginia is illegal, and this includes the use of the drug commonly referred to as "ecstasy." When driving under the influence of this kind of drug, a person can be stopped and arrested for DUI.

What Is Ecstasy?

Ecstasy is a man-made drug or synthetic that alters the perception and mood of a person's surroundings. It is very similar to other types of hallucinogenic and stimulant drugs.

Its formal name is methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, or MDMA. It is extremely popular as a party drug, showing up in the hands of people at nightclubs, dance parties, or "raves."

Ecstasy is often referred to as:

  • Molly

  • Candy

  • Love Drug

  • Scooby Snacks

  • Vitamin E" or "Vitamin X

  • Happy Pill.

How Is Ecstasy Used

Ecstasy typically comes in a capsule or tablet but may also be found in liquid or powder form. Ecstasy is usually taken in tablet form at parties by placing it on the tongue and/or swallowing the pill.

It is also used in combination with other drugs, like marijuana, cocaine, or LSD. Whether the drug is used alone or in combination with other drugs or alcohol, it can lead to extreme effects on a person's ability to drive.

Ecstasy's Effects on The Brain

Ecstasy works by changing the brain and does so by making changes to three of the brain's chemicals: Serotonin, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine.

  • Serotonin - This chemical affects sleep, mood, sexual arousal, and appetite.

  • Dopamine - This chemical is part of the reward system of the brain, causing people to feel "good." It also helps to create and produce energy.

  • Norepinephrine - This chemical creates a feeling of mass-energy and increases heart rate and blood pressure.

How Does Ecstasy Impact Driving

Ecstasy can have a very serious impact on a person's ability to drive safely and legally. This includes such impacts as:

  • inability to stay within the lines;

  • an increase in impulsive behavior;

  • inability to pay attention to the road properly and safely;

  • inability to retain short term memories;

  • loss of spatial awareness and depth perception;

  • slow reaction times to external stimuli;

  • lesser ability to track objects with the eyes, e.g., vehicles or pedestrians;

  • increased likelihood that the driver will engage in risk-taking behavior.

Because of the changes to the brain caused by the drug, a person is unable to drive in a safe manner. This will lead to the type of behavior that is likely to lead to a DUI arrest.

How Do Officers Detect Ecstasy DUI

There is no breathalyzer that officers can use while on the road to detect the presence of drugs. However, officers can run a person through field sobriety tests, which may lead the officers to the conclusion that a driver is under the influence of drugs.

Consult a Virginia Drug Crimes or DUI Defense Attorney Today

A charge of a drug crime or a DUI stemming from the use of ecstasy can have very serious consequences. To protect your constitutional rights, you need Virginia DUI attorney Bryan J. Jones to defend your case. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.