There are a variety of different drugs that can lead to a drug DUI charge in Virginia. Below, a DUID lawyer in Virginia discusses these drugs and whether drugs that are prescribed or purchased legally can also lead to a DUID charge. For more information regarding your case, call and schedule a consultation today.
Virginia law makes it clear that it’s illegal to be under the influence of any drug or combination of drugs to a degree which impairs safe driving. This includes over-the-counter medication as well as prescription medication and can also include any combination of drugs.
For example, a prescription drug which has an unanticipated reaction to an over-the-counter drug or an unanticipated reaction with a small amount of alcohol, to a degree that safe driving is impaired, will be treated as a DUI in Virginia. Police handle drug DUI charges in much the same way they do alcohol DUI cases. If an officer believes someone is impaired due to drugs after they have been pulled over at a traffic stop, they will likely conduct some tests and charge them with DUID.
DUI can result from all kinds of illegal substances. The most common ones are marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, LSD and PCP. In addition, DUI frequently results from drugs that are legal to possess if you have a prescription but are illegal without one, such as oxycodone, Percocet, Xanax, and many kinds of opiates.
DUI drug cases are huge a priority for Virginia law enforcement officers. Significant training as well as significant resources in terms of manpower are directed towards helping police detect DUI drug cases and effectively building those cases. Similarly, prosecutors receive specific training on how to prosecute and try these types of cases.
As far as the government is concerned, these cases are just as dangerous and in some cases, more dangerous than the DUI involving alcohol. This mirrors the way that the law treats these cases. If someone is under the influence of either alcohol or any kind of drug to a degree that safe driving is impaired, or any combination of alcohol and drugs, the consequences are the same.
Marijuana DUI cases are not less severe than other DUI cases and in fact, there are new studies showing that driving while high on marijuana can be just as dangerous, and in some cases, more dangerous, than driving drunk. So these kinds of cases are handled similarly to all other drug DUI cases. They’re investigated similarly and will ultimately result in a blood test being attempted. If the person is found guilty, all of the same penalties apply.
Of course, there are some drugs which are likely to produce more erratic behavior which can result in even stronger penalties, such as where a stimulant like cocaine or a hallucinogen like LSD is present. In other kinds of cases, such as a marijuana DUI, the driver will often call attention to themselves by driving very slowly. Nevertheless, the same basic penalties require for this kind of DUI.
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