DUI offenses are treated very seriously in Virginia, whether the substance involved is drugs or alcohol. With drug and alcohol-related DUIs, the same type of tests tend to be administered, the same steps are taken at the trial, and usually consists of the same types of witnesses. Following Fredericksburg DUI drug arrests, the arresting officer will testify about their observations and about the administering of the test. The officer will also discuss the other evidence related to the offense. If you have been arrested for a DUI drug charge, contact a well-established attorney who is knowledgeable about Fredericksburg DUI drug arrests.
Although some parts of the country have legalized marijuana, it is still an illegal drug in Virginia. Even in places where the drug is legal, it is still illegal to operate a vehicle while being under the influence of it. This means that officers are not going to turn a blind eye to individuals who may be driving under the influence of marijuana. The police consider possession of marijuana a strong indication that an individual may also be under the influence of the drug. Law enforcement treats driving under the influence of marijuana offenses as a very high priority.
One of the major differences with Fredericksburg DUI drug arrests with alcohol-related DUIs relates to proving the offense. The state has set a per se level for alcohol impairment but not for drugs. For instance, the common considered legal limit for alcohol is 0.08 percent. This means that an individual whose blood alcohol content is higher than 0.08 will be considered to be under the influence. However, for most drugs, there is no set level for intoxication. This means that rather than relying on the level of toxins in the system, the Commonwealth must rely on evidence of intoxicated behavior such as balance, coordination, and driving behavior. It is important to remember that the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver of the vehicle was impaired by the use of drugs.
The most common defense used in DUI drug cases is that the defendant was not actually impaired. It may be possible to have toxins in the bloodstream that do not affect an individual’s ability to drive. When building a defense, the defendant’s attorney would want to consult with an expert to point out to the court that there is no evidence to suggest that those levels of drugs in the defendant’s system are indicative of impairment. There are other arguments that the defense could raise, such as whether the tests were administered properly.
If you are facing a DUI drug charge, contact a skilled attorney who is experienced defending people after Fredericksburg DUI drug arrests. A lawyer could explain your options and will keep you informed through the legal process. Call today to set up a consultation. The sooner an attorney is contacted, the sooner they could begin building a defense.
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