Annapolis DUI Drug Lawyer

It is possible to be charged with drug-related impairment, which is different than the usual DUI stop associated with alcohol.

In these cases, there will be no odor of alcohol, which can make it difficult for police to determine whether someone is under the influence. Therefore when buildng a defense, an attorney will want to know how an officer goes from pulling someone over, to arresting them on drug charges. In this regard, one element that comes into play is a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) officer, who has completed a roughly 72-hour training and is assumed to be an expert at detecting whether or not a person is under the influence of drugs. Often an Annapolis DUI drug lawyer will need to look at the statements of the DRE and use any applicable evidence to build a strong defense. If you are facing drug related DUI charges in Annapolis, do not hesitate in contacting an Annapolis DUI drug lawyer to begin working on your defense.

Drugs That Can Lead to DUI Charges

It is absolutely possible to be charged with being under the influence of a drug even if an individual is taking something that is prescribed to them by their doctor. Certain drugs and narcotics that may be properly prescribed have a warning that says not to operate machinery or a vehicle, and if a person is operating, then they are certainly impaired in some capacity and that may be able to be proven in court.

With that said, no one should make statements to an officer about their condition or any drugs they are taking without the presence of an Annapolis DUI drug attorney. There is so much that can go wrong by talking, and everything said in these statements can be held against the defendant. Simply telling an officer that a pill was taken lawfully is still an admission to law enforcement that a drug was taken, and that is never a good thing to say to an officer.

Marijuana Testing

The odor of marijuana could cause an officer to be suspicious that a driver is under the influence. Drug paraphernalia such as a smoking device or needle may suggest that an individual has recently used a drug and are under its influence. This could tip off a police officer who has pulled over a driver.

Severity

Marijuana related DUIs are just as severe as other drug DUI cases. Driving under the influence, or driving while impaired by drugs and/or alcohol are both punishable with incarceration. There are studies that suggest that driving under the influence of marijuana is not as dangerous as alcohol. As legalization continues, more studies will be done on that issue. It is possible then, that legislation will be impacted by those study results. That, in turn, could change how marijuana DUIs are treated.

Testing and Refusal

Initially, when a driver is stopped for any DUI, they go through the same phases of a traditional DUI stop. This includes taking a breath test, which would likely come up as zero if they have not ingested any alcohol. At that point, the officer may suspect that the individual is under the influence of another substance, and will call a drug recognition expert to make any conclusions. The officer may also ask for a blood test.

An ordinary police officer cannot test as a DRE officer as they do not have the training. Although the 72-hour training still seems insufficient, a DRE officer has that much more experience and education with categories of drugs, 12-step tests, and how to glean a reasonable or reliable conclusion that the driver is suspected to be under the influence of drugs based on what they see.

It is questionable at best that an officer being taught by another officer, who was probably taught by an officer, could definitively and absolutely determine that a driver was under the influence of drugs, let alone a specific drug, when most doctors are not able to do that. An individual always has the right to refuse roadside and blood tests. Without a warrant to draw blood, the accused has no duty whatsoever to submit to that test. However, that is what an experienced Annapolis drug DUI attorney must build a defense against.

Accuracy

Drug tests in drug DUI cases are fairly accurate. A blood test, which is completed in a hospital setting, is one way to prove impairment. The units that are drawn are taken from a kit. The post mortem kit has to be opened by the phlebotomist, or the nurse that is taking the blood sample. The officer and generally one other witness, in addition to the hospital staff member, is present to witness the sample being taken. All three are listed on the paperwork that is submitted to the forensics lab, which is the unit that tests the blood samples taken.

Involuntary Intoxication as a Defense

Involuntary intoxication is an incredibly tough defense. If someone slipped something into another person’s drink and they were unaware of the drugs present, that is about as close as the defense can get because the results of a blood test would tell the same story. As far as alcohol goes, if someone spiked something that they were not supposed to, if the defense knew that it was labeled in a way that no one would be able to tell the difference, it is possible but extremely difficult to prove in court.

Benefit of an Experienced Annapolis Drug DUI Lawyer

Dealing with drugs is different than dealing with alcohol. If a DRE is involved, there are 12 steps that they are taught to recognize and an experienced Annapolis DUI drug lawyer will know to ask if they went through the proper protocol and procedures. The DRE officers have to correctly go through the entire set to get to their conclusion, and if not done correctly, the question comes down to how reliable could the test have been, and the answer is that it could not have been.

You have to know how to look at these tests and the protocol that needs to be followed, and if it is not done correctly, then it cannot be accurate, and it cannot be reliable in any way. If you take the accuracy and the reliability from an officer, then a judge or jury sitting in this matter would be able to say that there is reasonable doubt and once you have good reasonable doubt, you cannot have a conviction.

If you are facing these charges in Annapolis, the best decision you can make for your case is to hire an experienced Annapolis DUI drug lawyer.