DUI Drug Charges in DC

Most people assume that DUI charges in DC involve allegations that a person is under the influence of only alcohol. However, DC law states that a person can be charged with a DUI if there’s evidence that the person was under the influence of alcohol, drugs, medication or any combination of the three.

Thus, it’s not uncommon to see DUI cases where there’s either an allegation that someone’s under the influence of a drug like PCP or methamphetamine, but also situations where a person is under the influence of a combination of a prescription drug and alcohol or just a prescription drug or an over the counter drug or a drug that’s been recently legalized such as marijuana. Each of these can carry serious consequences and it therefore is imperative that a Washington DC drug DUI lawyer is contacted as soon as possible.

Standards for Proving a Drug DUI in DC

The standards for convicting someone of a DUI who is under the influence of drugs are the same standards as convicting someone who is under the influence of alcohol. The prosecutors need to prove that the person was operating the vehicle and at the time that they were operating the vehicle they were impaired by the drug. So the standard is the same, but in some situations it’s more difficult to find a person guilty for a drug DUI because the tests that are typically used to gather evidence for the presence of alcohol don’t necessarily also apply to the presence of drugs.

Securing a conviction can be easier when the drug is harder because a person who’s under the influence of, for example, PCP can show very obvious signs. In those situations it might actually be easier to convict someone of a drug DUI than an alcohol DUI.

What Constitutes a Drug DUI in DC?

In cases where a person is alleged to have been driving under the influence of a drug, the government still needs to prove that the person was operating or was in control of the vehicle and at the time that they were operating that vehicle they were impaired by any kind of drug.

That kind of drug can be an illegal drug, it can be a serious drug like heroin or PCP, it can be a prescription drug like Percocet or it can be any other kind of substance that has an impairing effect on a person’s motor skills or cognizance skills.

Legal & Prescription Drugs and DUI Charges

You don’t need to be under the influence of an illegal drug to be convicted of a DUI, any controlled substance is considered a drug in these situations. That can mean illegal drugs, prescription drugs, over the counter medication, marijuana, any controlled substance that has the ability to impair a person’s cognizance or motor functions can result in a person’s arrest for driving under the influence.

Contact a DUID Lawyer Today

A drug DUI charge in DC can have serious consequences. It is important to get in touch with an attorney right away if you or a loved one have been charged. An experienced attorney can help you understand the process and what the next right steps to take are. Please call our office today.