Virginia Beach DUI Drug Lawyer

Although DUI drug charges happen far less frequently than alcohol related DUI charges, when they do happen they can lead to serious penalties including fines, license suspensions, and even jail time in certain cases. Additionally, because blood tests are commonly used instead of breath tests, building a defense can prove to be even more difficult. As a result, if you are charged with driving under the influence of drugs it is imperative you seek the counsel of a Virginia Beach DUI drug lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and begin building a defense. A DUI lawyer in Virginia Beach will investigate everything from the initial stop to how your blood was taken to make sure your rights were never violated. To learn more or begin building a defense for your case, call today.

Proving Impairment in DUID Cases

Generally speaking it’s much more difficult to prove that a driver was operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs rather than by alcohol because the standard for drugs isn’t as clear as it is for the alcohol. Alcohol has a legal limit of 0.08 and there’s a presumption of intoxication for anyone driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher. With drugs they don’t have the clear set number like that because there are so many different types of varieties to test for that there’s not any one number and it’s difficult to compare impairment from one type of substance to another and from one person to another person.

Alcohol affects most people fairly consistently, but drugs aren’t metabolized in the same way. There’s a different effect on different people in comparable amounts, which makes it important that a DUI drug lawyer in Virginia Beach is contacted.

Do You Need To Be Under The Influence of An Illegal Drug?

It doesn’t have to be an illegal drug for a drug DUI. Any type of drug that causes impairment to the point that someone is driving unsafely is enough to be charged with a DUI. If the drug is prescribed to you, and it’s impairing your ability to drive or if you’re taking over the counter allergy medicine and you’re driving impaired, then you could still be charged with driving under the influence of drugs.

Differences Between Alcohol and Drug DUIs

The arrest and trial for a DUI for drugs or alcohol doesn’t differ very much at all. The tests administered on the field are the same and the officer is going to testify regarding any types or signs of impairment that were present, which generally don’t differ much either. The type of test that determines the individual’s level of impairment is where the difference comes in. For alcohol, it will be the breathalyzer test, and for drugs, it will be the blood test. If it’s the blood test because drugs are in question, then typically at trial there will be someone present from the Department of Forensic Science to testify regarding the results and what they mean.

DUI Drug Stops

Generally speaking DUID stops are the same as stops for traditional DUI charges because the officer who pulled over the driver is looking for signs of impairment. It’s not really going to matter whether the driver was impaired by drugs or alcohol. In general, the officers aren’t trying to distinguish during the stop right away. They’re looking for probable cause for a DUI arrest. The factors that they’re looking for are generally things like drivers that are slurring or stumbling or have blood shot or glassy eyes or any other signs of impairment.

The field sobriety tests are meant to find impairment on either level whether it’s by drugs or alcohol. The only difference comes at the very end where the officer will either take the driver to the station for a breathalyzer test or he’ll take the driver to the hospital for a blood test.

DUID Penalties

It depends on the level of how much the substance was in the person’s body and also of course in what the drug in question was. Somebody who has a very high amount of alcohol in their system and then on top of that they also have a high amount of illegal drugs then the judge and the prosecutors are going to want to really pound that home and the penalty could certainly be a lot more serious.

On the other side if it’s a very small amount of alcohol, and the drug was legal and the impairment happened to just be an unforeseen bad reaction then it may be easier for your Virginia Beach DUID attorney to get you a mitigated sentence. If someone is also a commercial driver, they are likely to face very intense penalties on their commercial driver’s license and subsequently their ability to work.