Drug Related Impairment in DC DUIs

In addition to an alcohol based driving under the influence charge, a person can be charged for DUI for drug-related impairments as well. With a drug related DUI, as a DC DUI drug lawyer can tell you, the procedure is very similar to the procedure for being charged with an alcohol-related DUI.

It will include potentially being stopped by a police officer while you’re driving, having the officer ask you to pull your window down and asking a series of questions. That can result in the officer asking you to get out of the car and conducting field sobriety tests just like they might do in a DUI alcohol investigation.

Consequences of A Drug Related DUI

The penalties can be different for a DUI drug case compared to a DUI alcohol case. In a first offense case, if you are arrested for DUI on suspicion that you are under the influence of some drug, then the police in that case would most likely ask you to submit to a urine sample, as opposed to a breath sample. This is because urine testing can detect for drugs, whereas breath testing can only detect for alcohol.

If you submit to a urine sample and your urine contains any schedule 1 drug, or another more serious drug such as cocaine, PCP or heroin, then you’ll be eligible for a mandatory minimum of 15 days in jail.

Prescription Drug-Related DUIs

A person can be charged with drug-related impairments in a DUI case for both legal and prescribed drugs. The legal drugs involved can include drugs that are both over-the-counter and prescribed, such as various sleeping medications. It can also include legal substances such as marijuana which has recently been legalized in Washington, DC. The DC legislators were very careful to make sure that the DC legalization law regarding marijuana did not include legalization for driving under the influence of marijuana.

The medications that can result in a DUI charge can be prescription medication such as oxycodone but can also includes a combination of over-the-counter medication or prescription medication and alcohol. So, as an example, over-the-counter medication such as Ambien mixed with alcohol can also result in a driving under the influence charge even though each individual drug or substance may not have been sufficient in order to be able to charge or convict a person.

Involuntary Intoxication As A Defense

Involuntary intoxication can be a defense in the event that another person has drugged you without your knowledge and you did not know that you were intoxicated at the point when you got into your car.

It is not a defense to argue that you did not know that a drug that you voluntary consumed would impair you. As an example, it is not a defense to argue that you did not realize that a certain medication you were taking would have an effect on your ability to drive when mixed with alcohol.

Benefits of Having a DC DUI Drug Lawyer

DC DUI drug cases can be very complicated especially when they involve toxicology test such as urine testing or blood testing. Having a lawyer who is highly experienced with dealing with DC DUI drug cases would enable your lawyer to best understand any possible challenges and to look for the evidence that the prosecutor would need to produce in order to be able to convict you.

The evidence in DUI drug cases that don’t include toxicology results can be very subjective sometimes and many of the standard DUI alcohol tests that a prosecutor may use don’t necessarily apply in DUI drug cases.

So, having not only experience with DUI cases in general but specifically DUI drug cases can give you the best possible shot at challenging the evidence against you.