Prosecution of Virginia Beach DUI Drug Charges

Someone who is charged with a DUI while impaired by alcohol and someone who is charged with a DUI while impaired by drugs will largely face similar prosecutions. The biggest differences in how these two cases are handled rests on the evidence local law enforcement officers will present in court. For DUIs that are due to alcohol, the prosecution will bring in evidence from a Breathalyzer test and for a DUI drug charge in Virginia Beach, they will bring in results from a blood or urine test. Someone who has been charged with a drug DUI may also face additional drug charges, but those charges are not directly related to the prosecution of a DUI.

How Prosecutors View Drug DUI Charges

Police officers in Virginia Beach aren’t discriminating between whether someone is driving under the influence of drugs or driving under the influence of alcohol. In either situation, they’re going to be looking for the same signs of impairment and the penalties are going to be the same as well.

Blood Tests v. Breathalyzer Tests

The tests used to detect drug impairment in a DUI are a blood test which, is administered at the hospital by a nurse or a doctor generally. These tests are really very accurate. They’re extremely detailed, not only in exactly what was in the person’s blood, but also in the exact quantities that the substances were present in their blood. Typically it will take about a month to get the results of the test but sometimes they can take a little bit longer.

For someone who is facing a regular DUI charge, they will be given a Breathalyzer test at the nearest police station, and the results from this test will be used against a person in court should they be officially charged.

Can Blood Tests Pick Up Allergy Medication?

Yes. The blood tests administered following a Virginia Beach drug DUI charge can show almost anything that naturally isn’t supposed to be present in somebody’s blood. It picks up a huge variety of substances and it also shows the quantities in which the substances are present.

Refusing a Blood Test in Virginia Beach

In general, they’re not going to draw someone’s blood against their will. They’re not going to hold somebody down and force them to submit to the blood test. You can say no, but refusing to take the blood test is a whole additional charge of refusal, which comes with harsh penalties that can really complicate somebody’s DUI case. The penalties with refusal are a 12-month suspension of a driver’s license with no possibility of a restricted license.

The problem with this license suspension is that it’s really difficult for most people to function in society without a license for a whole year. What ends up happening when someone gets charged with a refusal on top of their DUI is that the Commonwealth will offer them a plea deal in which they will drop the refusal charge in exchange for a guilty plea to the DUI.

It kind of backs defendants into a corner because they don’t have much of a choice because even if they can beat the DUI without taking that plea deal, there aren’t not many strong arguments that can beat a refusal charge, unless the whole stop was invalid. It backs you into a corner and makes it really difficult to walk out of court without a DUI conviction. Usually, the best thing for a person to do is to submit to the blood test and then speak to a DUID attorney in Virginia Beach about how to defend yourself against any charges.