Roid Rage: Driving Under the Influence of Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids are controlled substances in Michigan. This means it is possible to be charged with driving under the influence of anabolic steroids.

Roid Rage = Road Rage = DUI?

Roid rage is the idea that people who take anabolic steroids are prone to increased combativeness and aggressiveness. The actual science behind this is spotty, but there is anecdotal evidence and the idea persists.

Could a driver who takes steroids and gets in a road rage incident be in trouble for a DUI?

Think about a road rage incident, in which someone drives dangerously. This type of driving is not (or shouldn’t be) normal driving. If steroids were the cause of that type of driving than that could meet the definition of driving under the influence. The idea doesn’t seem impossible.

What is Driving Under the Influence Exactly?

Driving under the influence means you ability to drive in a normal manner is substantially effected by the use of drugs or alcohol.

Can Steroids Impair Your Ability to Drive Otherwise?

Steroids would not impair a driver in the same that alcohol or sedatives would impair driving. In general, when you drink alcohol or take a sedative, there is a relatively immediate and predictable effect on the body. You have a drink and a certain time later feel the effects of that drink. More drinks will increase the effects.

Steroids, however, do not produce an immediate high or buzz in the same way as alcohol. First, steroids do not take effects for hours. And second, the effects of steroid use are gradual and take place over the course of several weeks, not in minutes and hours like other alcohol or drugs. Steroids can produce euphoria and increased energy, but do not produce a “high.” People mostly use steroids to increase muscle and athletic ability.

Do Drug Recognition Experts Look for Steroid Use?

No, drug recognition experts do not look for people who may be roid raging or otherwise under the influence of steroids. Under the drug recognition expert’s model of drugs, there are only seven categories of drugs, and steroids are not one of those categories.

The reality is there are hundreds of different types of drugs with their own unique effects. The drug recognition expert’s simplified model of drug categories leaves no room for anabolic steroids. I suppose an enterprising young drug recognition expert could read this article and carve our a new drug category for the roid ragers on the highway.

Call ArborYpsi Law

Call Sam Bernstein at 734-883-9584 or e-mail at

Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Defense Attorney in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

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