Unfortunately, someone can be charged for a crime, even if cannot be proved against them. If an officer feels that someone is impaired, they will charge that person with DUI. If during the investigation of the case the defense attorney determines that the only drugs ingested were prescription, that will help as a strong defense to the case.
Involuntary intoxication can be a defense to any criminal offense in Virginia, but particularly in a case of a DUI when the prosecution has to prove that the defendant is impaired to a degree that affects their ability to operate a motor vehicle. It could be critical to speak with a Fredericksburg DUI drug lawyer about the appropriate defense based on the facts of your driving under the influence case.
In Virginia, driving under the influence can be proved by showing that somebody’s ability to operate a car is impaired either by alcohol, by use of drugs, or by a combination of drugs and alcohol. There is a presumption that a person is intoxicated if they have a certain level of drugs in their system, e.g., 0.08 grams per liter of alcohol; certain amounts of cocaine, methamphetamines, or PCP. It is more common that there is no set amount of grams per liter in someone’s blood before they are found to be impaired, but rather by looking at the driving behavior that was involved.
If someone is driving poorly, crossing the lines and unable to stay in one lane, there is a higher indication that that person is impaired than someone who is driving down the center of their lane fairly consistently. When drugs are involved, one of the main things are driving behavior and an individual’s performance on their field sobriety test, even when a blood test indicates there are some levels of toxins in the blood system.
In Fairfax County, the presence of drugs is always tested through a blood analysis. A defendant who is suspected of a DUI drug offense is taken to a local hospital where a Registered Nurse will conduct a blood draw. That blood is then sent to the Department of Forensic Science for a chemical analysis.
Virginia is an implied consent state, meaning that when someone receives their driver’s license in Virginia, they agree to take a breathalyzer test or to submit to a blood test if there is probable cause to believe that they are guilty of driving under the influence.
If there is probable cause to have someone conduct a breathalyzer and they refuse to do the breathalyzer test, the defendant can then be charged with unreasonable refusal and can lose their driver’s license for a significant period of time, or even be charged with a criminal offense if they have been convicted of refusal in the past.
It is always important to consult a Fredericksburg DUI drug lawyer when facing criminal charges, but especially a DUI charge and more so when it involves an allegation of drug use. Because there are many things that can benefit a person if they have an attorney and can be their detriment if they do not have an attorney.
Many cases where someone is charged with a DUI drug offense, they ultimately end up being charged with possession of those same drugs. Likewise, someone who is facing charges for DUI drug test will benefit a great deal from having an attorney who is experienced working with experts. The attorney could review their blood analysis and determine their ability or impairment or whether there is a problem with the government’s case.
The biggest mistakes to avoid are not consulting with an attorney with a lot of experience in that particular issue and assuming that the Department of Forensic Science is able to determine someone’s level of impairment from the results of their blood test. The Department of Forensic Science can run an analysis on blood and determine how much of which substance was in somebody’s blood. They can even determine with marijuana, for example, that someone had likely used marijuana recently or probably not as recently, but they are not able to determine how that level of toxin in the person’s blood affects that person individually.
There are some people who are affected differently by one or two substances; some people have very little effect from some substances but much more from others. The Department of Forensic Science will routinely indicate that most people in a particular situation would be rather impaired, but they do not have any experience with that particular defendant. It is very important for someone charged with a DUI drug offense to speak with a Fredericksburg DUI drug lawyer who has a relationship with experts who can testify to possible levels of impairment.
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