Baltimore DUI Drug Lawyer
In Baltimore and throughout Maryland driving under the influence can include both alcohol and drugs. Below, Baltimore DUI drug lawyer Seth Okin discusses charges of driving while under the influence of drugs and what you should do if you are arrested and brought in by law enforcement. To learn more about these types of charges or to discuss a case that is already outstanding, call a DUI lawyer in Baltimore today and schedule a free consultation.
In addition to alcohol, you can also be charged for driving under the influence of drugs. Under article 902 are sections C1, C3, D1, D2 each of which deals with driving, or attempting to drive, a vehicle while impaired by drugs or controlled dangerous substances. These drugs and substances can range from something like smoking marijuana or taking heroin and driving, to taking something like Ambien that may have been prescribed by a doctor. Even if you take something that is a prescription medication, it can still lead to a DUI if it impairs you in the wrong way.
DUIs are a big deal to law enforcement in Baltimore. Officers make a big deal out of it and DUIs are the horror stories of what can truly go wrong, all those things are played out there in the public forums, and they are very visible. Authorities are spending money and getting officers trained for a reason. They want to put people who drive under the influence in jail because they are a hazard to public safety and as a result these types of cases will be taken extremely seriously, warranting attention from an experienced Baltimore DUID lawyer.
What To Do After An Arrest
If you are accused or charged with driving under the influence of drugs then the next step is to contact a lawyer as soon as you possibly can. Your DUI drug lawyer in Baltimore is going to want to know about the process of the arrest including: if they drew blood, if they did it properly, and if they brought in a drug recognition expert (or DRE), which is an officer trained extensively on identifying drugs from a series of tests. If anything is handled improperly during this process then your attorney will be able to spot it and use it to your advantage in court.
What Happens After You Are Brought to a Police Station?
After you are brought to the station law enforcement must get blood out of you even if it takes obtaining a warrant to do so. Usually, there is a window with which they have to act in order to draw blood. In Maryland that window is 4 hours for drugs and 2 hours for alcohol. If they don’t comply with these standards, or they do something outside of protocol, then evidence can be suppressed and cannot be submitted in court against you. Much of the value that an Baltimore DUI drug attorney can provide is in knowing the standards and protocol of an arrest and holding law enforcement to those standards. So if your rights are violated in any way you will be able to use that to your advantage and hopefully get your charges minimized as much as possible.
Substances Involved in DUI Drug Charges
A DUI drug case can involve any drug that can impair your ability to drive, whether it’s a prescription drug or an illegal drug. You can legitimately get a good prescription from your doctor, but if it adversely affects the way that you drive, you can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs. And if it’s an illegal drug, you certainly can be charged with driving under the influence as well.
Can You Be Charged For Over The Counter Medications?
Over-the-counter medications can be grounds for DUI. If a substance is found in your system and it’s impairing your ability to drive, then the prosecutor can try to prove that you were under the influence or driving while impaired.
The bottom line is whether you’re putting others in danger. Benadryl, other over-the-counter drugs and other drugs that are prescribed by your physician might come with a warning label advising you that the drug can make you drowsy or dizzy or that you shouldn’t operate heavy machinery or a vehicle. If that’s the case, you really want to consider that warning seriously.
If you ignore the warning label and you go out and drive, you can have an officer pull you over and cite you for driving under the influence. The officer will simply bring to court anything found in the vehicle that shows a warning label indicating that you shouldn’t have been driving a car. It doesn’t have to be so substantial that you’re driving under the influence. But if you are driving while impaired, which is the lesser charge, that impairment can still result in a conviction.
Mistakes to Avoid in DUID Cases
The biggest mistakes to avoid in DUI drug cases are no different than in alcohol cases. You can avoid them by getting a Baltimore DUID lawyer as soon as possible so they can help you avoid pitfalls in your case and help you build a strong defense. As with alcohol, your use of a drug is certainly something that needs to be addressed. It’s about putting something in your system, whether it’s over-the-counter, prescribed or from another source, and knowing that you should or shouldn’t drive with that substance in your system.
There may be any number of depressants like pain medications, diet pills, allergy medications or other substances that you may take regularly and perhaps they’re even prescribed to you. Whatever medications you take, you should really be able to recognize the factors that would lead you to believe that you shouldn’t be driving.
Alternatively, it’s possible that you’ve been taking one of these substances regularly for such a long time that it no longer impairs you. In that case, you can argue that you’ve been unjustly accused and win at trial. If you can show that you have an extensive history of utilizing this particular drug that’s prescribed to you and you use it the way you’re supposed to, then it’s possible to demonstrate that the officer was wrong.