The bottom line issue for every DUI prosecution is whether a person was so affected by an intoxicating substance that it prevents that person from safely operating a motor vehicle. Every DUI arrest and subsequent criminal trial for a drug DUI will be aimed at proving this level of impairment to be true. The ways of proving drug impairment can be as circumstantial as the ways used to prove alcohol impairment. For example, an officer will look at a driver’s statements, demeanor, appearance, observed driving behavior, and performance on field sobriety tests.
Drug DUI charges carry significant penalties and long-term consequences. If you are facing charges, reach out to an attorney who is experienced with Prince William County DUI drug cases. An accomplished drug DUI lawyer could advocate for you and possibly help you reach a favorable resolution to your case.
Unlike with alcohol DUIs, drug concentrations will only be detectable by taking a person’s blood. Securing someone’s blood is a harder process than securing their breath, and the types of divided-attention field sobriety tests that can be used to assess unsafe drug impairment are less standardized and reliable. Officers are generally less-trained in conducting drug field tests as well, making their administration of the tests more vulnerable to attack by a skilled defense attorney.
Unlike alcohol charges, drug DUI charges do not have as many legal presumptions that apply to quantification levels in one’s blood. In other words, there are many types of drugs that are not included in the DUI statutes establishing legal limits, and there are also no enhanced consumption limits that trigger higher fines and jail time as punishment like there are for alcohol-based offenses. Moreover, alcohol intoxication and metabolization are more predictable and known on a scientific level, such that the simple testimony of an observing police officer or eyewitness will be accepted as evidence about intoxication without the need to resort to expert testimony.
The most common defense strategy used to defend someone accused of drug impairment DUI is to emphasize the lack of definition, quantification, and predictable influence that a particular drug would have had on a particular individual based on the available evidence and circumstances. Other strategies sometimes include presenting relevant drug treatment, or evidence that an accused was misdiagnosed with a certain drug at the time of the concerning driving behavior (which has now been corrected). Standard considerations will also remain relevant in these cases, such as a person’s preexisting driving record and criminal record, as well as whether any serious safety risk or injury was actually posed to other people or property. An accomplished lawyer will know which defense strategy may be best in a Prince William County DUI drug case.
A dedicated attorney who is knowledgeable about Prince William County DUI drug cases could fight for you if you are facing charges. Call today and set up a consultation with a well-versed legal professional. Let a lawyer help you.