Prince George’s County DUI Drug Lawyer
In addition to being charged for alcohol, in Maryland you can be charged with a DUI in relation to drug impairment. A DUI due to impairment from alcohol is the charge that most people immediately think of in terms of being under the influence and is far more common. However, in Maryland, driving under the influence can include both alcohol and drugs with both carrying serious penalties and long term consequences. The following is information on what you should know regarding DUID charges and how contacting a Prince George’s County DUI lawyer can help if accused.
Most Common Substances Associated With DUID Charges
A multitude of substances can cause a DUI charge. The most commonly seen is marijuana, which has a smell recognizable by the police office when they come to a vehicle’s window. However, impairment by other drugs is fairly common, including over the counter drugs or by prescription drugs, which are given to you by a doctor and which you may have taken as directed, prior to driving a vehicle.
Are Penalties Different For Different Drugs?
DUIs have specific charges and penalties that are the same regardless of the substance. However, the penalties can be different if you are also charged with Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) possession. CDS has a pre-defined spectrum of charges ranging from less to more, depending on how dangerous the substance is considered. For example, if the substance is marijuana, which is considered lower on the spectrum, it could be a lesser offense than heroin, which is much more serious.
In Maryland, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana is a civil charge. For other charges, such as for heroin or other non-marijuana drugs, additional charges can be added for the possession of these substances and there could be additional traffic charges.
Can Prescriptions or Legal Drugs Lead to a DUI?
You can be charged with a DUI whether legal or illegal drugs caused the impairment, including prescription drugs. Even over-the–counter drugs can cause impairment. Prescriptions for drugs such as sleep medication or painkillers can cause impairment on which a DUI charge can be based. Anything that can impair your ability drive a vehicle is something for which you can be charged. The most common prescription drugs include Oxycodone, Ambien, other sleep medications, anti-depressants, and anti-inflammatories. All of these can impact your ability to drive or operate a motor vehicle.
DWI Drug Charges
You can absolutely be charged with Driving While Impaired for drug-related impairment. If your abilities are impaired and an officer can provide substantive evidence that you have a drug in your system that means you can be charged.
Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in DUI Drug Cases
The biggest mistake to avoid in a drug DUI case is to not interpret or use the test results properly. DUI drug charges are based on test results from urinalysis, blood samples, etc. Drugs stay in your system longer than alcohol. Marijuana stays in your system for almost 30 days. Other drugs stay in your system as well, but what police and prosecutors are looking for is a certain level of concentration.
There are very specific ways in which blood must be taken and the urinalysis conducted. Maryland generally does not use urinalysis for drug related DUI testing. The presence of the drugs in your system at a certain concentration is very important; when a drug test has a positive result the concentration level will have an effect on the severity of the charges.