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Alexandria Drug DUI Cases

In Virginia, DUI drug cases are taken very seriously. Local law enforcement officials recognize that those operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, regardless of the cause of impairment, pose a potential risk to innocent bystanders throughout the area.

Someone who has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs should contact an Alexandria DUID lawyer as soon as possible.

Case Process of Alcohol DUI v. Drug DUI in Alexandria

For any DUI case in Alexandria, whether it is drugs or alcohol, the police officers conduct field sobriety tests in much the same way. A driver is asked for their license and registration. The police watch to determine whether the driver is able to follow instructions and grab their license and registration. The officer asks the person to step out of the car. They are making observations of the person’s eyes, whether they are bloodshot and watery, whether the person is able to follow instructions, and their coordination.

This remains true for either a DUI drug or DUI alcohol related case. Alexandria police officers ask the person to perform a field sobriety test. In both cases they are looking at the person’s performance on this test as indicators that they might be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The only possible difference is that once someone is arrested for DUI alcohol, they are entitled to have a breath test. Police officers cannot make a person take a blood test unless the breath test is unavailable or the person is physically unable to take the breath test. In a DUI drug case, they automatically take a person to the hospital for a blood draw and analysis.

A trial in Alexandria is exactly the same when it comes to DUI alcohol or DUI drug cases. The only difference is that in a DUI drug case, a certificate analysis showing the level of drugs in the person’s system is introduced. The prosecutors submit evidence on the person’s blood test and how it was transferred. They may call in the expert to explain how the drug in the person’s system affected them. The only difference usually is the blood draw and the analysis of the blood sample.

Impact of Marijuana Legalization on DUID Cases

In Virginia, it is still illegal to use marijuana and police treat it as it being illegal. Alexandria law enforcement officials can use it as probable cause to search the vehicle or the owner. They do not want people driving around using marijuana, even if it was legal. DUID cases are worrisome and can cause an accident or severe damage to someone. Police are concerned. Even if it is legalized, a person cannot drive around while impaired.

Determining Someone Under Influence of Drugs

Usually, it is fairly easy to prove a DUI alcohol and a DUI drug case based upon the observations of police. The only difference is the results of a blood test. The blood tests must show that the blood was handled correctly, it was not contaminated, and there was no error. Experts are sometimes needed to show the effect of the drug on the person, but this is not that hard for Alexandria prosecutors to do. It’s not much more difficult to prove a DUI drug case as it is a DUI alcohol case.

What State Needs to Prove in Alexandria DUID Cases

The state needs to prove one of two things. The first is that a person is under the influence of drugs to the extent that it impairs their ability to drive. The state demonstrates whether a person’s coordination was affected, whether their speech was affected, whether they were able to follow instructions and do the field sobriety tests.

They do not need to show any proof necessarily that a person was under the influence of any specific drugs or show a specific level of drug in a person’s system in that type of DUI drug event. Alexandria prosecutors can prove the case even when a person doesn’t appear impaired if their blood was analyzed after arrest and there are certain levels of certain types of drugs in their system.

These are according to code, the drugs that are not prohibited and the amount. If prosecutors can prove a person had certain amounts of drugs in their system and there is an instance they were driving under the influence of drugs, even if they were not showing any signs, there are two different ways prosecutors can prove their case. One is that observation statement is evidence alone. That can imply all of that plus a certificate of analysis that shows the person had certain levels of drugs in your system.

Defenses Against Drug DUI Charges in Alexandria

When someone is charged with a DUI drug offense, their DUI drug attorney in Alexandria should be looking at several things. The first thing he or she should look at is whether there was reasonable suspicion to pull the vehicle over. If there was not reasonable suspicion to pull the vehicle over, all of the evidence disclosed from that illegal stop can be suppressed.

The next thing the attorney should look for is whether there was probable cause to arrest the subject. Without probable cause to arrest the individual, anything disclosed from that illegal arrest should be suppressed.

If both those things are not met, an Alexandria drug DUI lawyer should put a defense together showing there are other reasons for a person’s behavior that suggests they were impaired such as nervousness, the weather, or working a long day. They also should be looking at the chain of custody of the person’s blood sample taken from the hospital and sent to the lab. Were there any errors in analyzing the blood that was taken from the individual that can work to their benefit? The attorney tries to discredit the evidence.

It depends on every case. It is a fact by fact, case by case basis, but these are some common strategies.

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