Drug DUI: Exploring Impairment Laws and Defense Strategies

Drug DUI: Exploring Impairment Laws and Defense Strategies


Getting a DUI is a serious matter that requires your immediate attention. With over one million arrests made each year for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the issue is a major one. And it can be more significant when the DUI involves drugs.

You need to know how to beat these charges, particularly if you got the DUI because you were taking a prescribed medication or any drug that you purchased over the counter.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, after alcohol, marijuana is the drug that is most often found in the blood of drivers involved in automobile accidents and subsequent testing will measure the level of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the blood. THC is marijuana’s mind-altering ingredient, in the blood.

To fight these charges you clearly need an experienced DUI lawyer who can negotiate on your behalf and represent you in court to maintain your innocence. These charges can follow you for the rest of your life, so it’s essential to fight them as aggressively and successfully as possible.

Consider some of the complexities in this area.

Ignition Interlock Device Requirements for Drug DUIs

Although alcohol is the first thing that comes to people’s minds when talking about a DUI, there is a growing number of drug DUIs that are much more challenging for prosecutors due to the implementation of strict new intoxicated driving laws. These state that anyone convicted of a drug DUI can have an ignition interlock device on their vehicle and lose their driving privileges.

If you find yourself in this situation, an expert DUI attorney can help you by working on your acquittal and building a strong case for your defense to fight the charges.

How Prosecutors Prove Drug DUI Charges

When alcohol isn’t present at the time of arrest, it’s much more difficult for the prosecution to make these charges stick.

This is due to the fact that the prosecution would have to prove that a particular drug was the actual cause of the impairment. By its very nature, alcohol provides a system that makes it easy to measure its presence in your blood. When drugs are involved, their presence is much more complicated to prove.

This allows a skilled DUI attorney the possibility to argue that there were many other factors at play when you were pulled over. You may have been feeling sick, suffering from mental health issues, feeling drowsy because you were tired or hungry, feeling depressed or under the weather, or experiencing a myriad of other issues. By bringing up any of the above reasons, your lawyer’s aim is to introduce an element of reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury.

Once they have gone over the details of your arrest and the statements in the police report, your DUI attorney will know what the best defense strategy would be for your case.

If You Were Using Legal Drugs When Arrested, Can This Lead to a DUI?

Being charged with a DUI is no joking matter. These charges can have grave consequences that can follow you for many years to come if not for life. Unfortunately, the use of prescription or over-the-counter medications can also pose a danger for drivers.

Many medications have side effects that can impair your ability to drive. Allergy medications can make you drowsy, while antidepressants might make you feel groggy or unable to focus. While the drugs are legal, that doesn’t mean getting behind the wheel while using them is.

When you’re interviewed by the police at the scene of the accident, your responses may be slow, or you may try to explain you were having a hard time concentrating when driving because you were feeling lethargic due to some medications you had just taken.

These statements or actions might make the officer more likely to issue a DUI. While a judge or prosecutor may show some discretion in filing charges or handing out punishment, it’s wise never to drive after taking a new medication.

How Can a DUI Attorney Help?

Your DUI lawyer will start by listening to your story and reviewing all available evidence. Their focus will be on trying to exclude certain pieces of evidence, which could either be a blood or urine test you might have been given and its results. Your lawyer may implement other legal tactics to prove the inadmissibility of the tests by finding them based on faulty methods or other grounds depending on your circumstances.

The point here is for you to get an experienced DUI lawyer who can help improve your chances of getting your charges dismissed in court and remove the threat of that DUI charge hanging over your head.

Source: Jonathan Bletcher, Criminal Attorney, Coral Gables FL

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