Hampton Roads DUI Drug Lawyer

Drug DUI cases are just as serious as alcohol DUI cases. They can lead to jail time, they have serious consequences and repercussions. Many charged with a drug DUI think there is no reason to fight the charge itself. However, a well-versed DUI attorney knows that the accused has a chance to disprove or defend what the government has to establish before sentencing. As a Hampton Roads DUI drug lawyer has seen, the government must prove and show that the individual was driving under the influence in order for the individual to be found guilty.

Reasons for a Driving Under the Influence of a Drug Charge

If an officer suspects that a driver has an impairment as the result of a drug or alcohol interaction, that individual could be arrested for driving under the influence.  It is listed in the same code section for alcohol-related driving under the influence charges. A drug DUI like marijuana is treated the same way as an alcohol-related DUI. It is a Class One misdemeanor if it is the first offense. However, because there are no blood alcohol tests, it is not going to trigger a mandatory minimum jail time.

Treatment of Prescription Medication Cases

If someone is under the influence of medication which makes them unable to operate a vehicle properly, then they can be charged with driving under the influence. It is a little more difficult to prove for the commonwealth because they can not lean on a blood test for evidence. If they can show that the individual was in no condition to drive, they can still convict.

Over-the-counter medication, such as Benadryl, can lead to a conviction for a driving under the influence charge, so long as the government is able to show that the individual was impaired and unable to operate a motor vehicle.

Expectations for Drug Testing in a DUI Case

Hampton Road authorities will present the evidence of the officer’s observations, both of the suspect’s driving and also of their interactions with the police officer during any field sobriety tests that are done. A Hampton Roads DUI drug lawyer has seen this be presented to the judge to determine intoxication.

Authorities in Hampton Roads can use blood tests or urine tests to test for the presence of drugs. If they suspect that the individual is under the influence of other drugs, then the individual will likely be taken to the hospital and the officer will obtain a warrant for a blood draw.

Implied Consent Laws

Under Virginia law, implied consent laws mean if an individual is operating a vehicle on a highway, the judge has probable reason to ask for a breath or blood test. In this state, the individual is required to give a breath or blood test. If the individual refuses to do so and they do not have a good reason to do so, then they can be charged with a separate offense of refusal, and that can trigger a license suspension or jail time.  An individual will want to talk to a Hampton Roads DUI drug lawyer who can help them seek their ideal outcome.

Defending Drug DUI’s with the Argument of Involuntary Intoxication

Involuntary intoxication can be a defense for a drug DUI. However, it is difficult to establish because the individual is presumed to be aware of anything they put in their body. If the individual makes an argument that it was involuntary intoxication, they bear the burden of showing that they were unaware of what they were taking and that caused these side-effects.

An individual is responsible for anything they take and consume. The government will argue that even if the individual did not realize that what they took could cause intoxication, they could have educated themselves before taking the drug. The individual is showing that they had no way of knowing that what they were taking and it caused them to be intoxicated to a point where they were unable to properly operate a vehicle.