Like other jurisdictions in Virginia, Richmond utilizes drug testing to help the prosecution in affirming a DUI Drug conviction. Below, a Richmond DUID lawyer discusses some basics about drug testing, including how these tests can make or break the state’s case against you. If you’ve been arrested or charged with a drug DUI, make sure to contact a Richmond DUI lawyer to fight your case.
Officers use a blood test to determine drug impairment for DUI D. The blood sample is tested by the Division of Forensic Science and the results are very similar to breathalyzer results. It’s obvious they are using a blood sample versus a breath sample.
In most cases, these tests will be conducted at a nearby hospital. An officer will either get your consent to have blood drawn or obtain a warrant to have that blood drawn.
The implied consent laws apply to both testing for alcohol and drugs. The implied consent law states that by operating a motor vehicle in the state of Virginia, you imply consent to be tested for drugs and/or alcohol under statute and under case law that allows for blood test as well. So, the implied consent law does apply to this.
You can refuse to take these drug tests, however, if you were to refuse the test, you will be charged with refusal. For a first offense DUI or DUI D, this comes with a 12-month loss of license.
We can’t advise individuals to refuse to take the test mainly because it results in a civil charge. However, we do typically advise that it’s unwise to make any statements about drug or alcohol use. You can actually refuse to take field tests and just ask for a blood alcohol test.
For the most part, the tests are fairly accurate. Again, we will get the result to the test from the Division of Forensic Science. In addition to that, your attorney can petition for an independent test to be done to verify the results.
Sometimes the drug tests can be wrong regarding the amount of drugs found in the system as well as the type of impairment that amount of drug could cause.
The test will pick up these kinds of substances. They will test for any substance or illegal substance in your body to identify what impaired you. Now, if you had a prescription for the drug identified in your blood sample that would be used for mitigation. The blood test will test for pretty much any substance in the body.
The blood test results can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months based on the work load of the Division of Forensic Science. Routinely they’ll come back with the preliminary result within a few days or a few weeks. But the final results usually take some time.
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