Drug DUI cases in Henrico County face different issues than traditional alcohol-related DWI and DUI cases. First, in Henrico DUI drug (DUID) cases the government needs to be able to prove that you were impaired by drugs while driving. Drug tests are different from BAC tests, and there are different technical requirements for accurate and admissible tests. Second, drug cases can involve impairment by substances that a person may not have intended to take.
Below, we discuss some of the issues with involuntary intoxication, drug tests, and other evidence that the Commonwealth uses to prove a drug DUI case. To discuss your specific case consult with a Henrico drug DUI lawyer today.
Involuntary intoxication is actually one of the defenses that can be raised on a DUID charge. If we can show that you did take the proper amount of the drug, and it just had an abnormal effect or you had an abnormal reaction to it is a defense that can be raised. It would be your burden a proof to show the impairment or effects of the drug were involuntary. This requires providing medical information and information from your doctor, plus in some cases testimony from your doctor.
It is still voluntary intoxication even if you didn’t know the drug or drug interaction would impair you. It is your responsibility to know what you put into your body. In other words if you take a drug not thinking it will have an adverse effect on you and it does and/or you mix two drugs, the initial responsibility will be on you.
You are required to know what effects drugs may have on you and not to operate a vehicle should you become impaired. We can raise defenses if in fact there was an abnormal or an adverse reaction that you could not foresee but again that requires sometimes expert testimony and the testimony of your doctor as well.
Authorities will test your blood to determine what drugs and the amount of drugs in your system. A blood test and will be administered at a hospital. You can refuse these tests, however they can attempt to charge you with refusal as a result of that. If you refuse, the officer can also obtain a warrant to have blood drawn even without your consent. In many cases they can get that blood no matter what.
If they do not obtain blood from you an officer can show you’re impaired through a number of ways. The officer will attempt to show that through your driving, behavior, and field sobriety tests you were clearly impaired. Further, they will look at your ability to comprehend instructions, your coordination and your appearance. If your speech is slurred or stammered, your eyes bloodshot or glassy, all of these are indicators of impairment.
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