Rockville DUI Drug Lawyer
Mistakes happen. They are an unfortunate part of our world. However, if you feel as though your rights are not represented fairly, or if you think that the courts are not giving you your fair stake at trial, then it is time to partner with an attorney. A Rockville DUI drug lawyer could work hard to preserve your legal rights and fight for you. Reach out today.
What Constitutes a DUI for Drug-Related Impairment
Drug-related impairment is distinctly different from alcohol-related impairment. Usually a DUI of any sort starts with a person being pulled over for some cause, such as an accident, speeding, weaving between lanes, or anything that the Rockville officer finds indicative of impairment.
If it is an alcohol-related event, police almost always rely on the smell and odor of alcohol, they cite the movement of the individual inside the car, the glass eyes or bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech, delayed physical movements, the person not being able to find their registration, fumbling with their license or wallet, or dexterity issues.
With drugs, the issue is slightly different. Arrests are weighted on a delayed cognitive response. Maybe the odors of PCP or marijuana are incredibly distinct, so officers could use that as evidence. If they see drugs in the vehicle, a needle or a spoon, or if the individual’s response is either lethargic or more animated than usual, these are also signs of drug-related impairment.
If officers believe that the individual is impaired, they ask them questions. If odors are present, officers have the right to ask them to step out of the vehicle. Usually, they perform the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. For drug impairment, they usually look for a vertical nystagmus. In some circumstances, officers may have suspicion of drug usage if the person’s walking, one-leg-stand, and similar tests are all bad but their breath reads negative for alcohol.
Of course, the tests are designed to be failed. The person does them without any practice. The person could be nervous in front of officers, the weather could be poor and may affect their performance. There are a myriad of reasons as to how these tests could go wrong.
Some officers are certified as drug recognition experts. They are trained in a specific, step-by-step program meant to assess the individual and further the investigation . They may ask the person to submit to a blood test, and all of these tests have to be completed in four hours, which is double the amount of time required for alcohol tests.
This is a very subjective testing process being done by an officer and not a doctor. Even with training, they could make mistakes and may not be as thorough as a doctor, so there is room for error. In situations where alleged offenders feel as though their rights were not represented or if these tests do not accurately reflect the situations, they need to consider working with a Rockville DUI drug lawyer.
Penalties for Drug-Related DUIs
The penalties associated with a drug-based DUI are very similar to alcohol DUIs. They are part of the same coding on the Transportation Article, Section 21-902. The most common maximum penalties are 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Prescription Drugs and Charges Against a Person Driving
Anything that impairs someone is something that could constitute a DUI. Impairment means to impede upon one’s ability to properly, adequately, and safely operate a motor vehicle.
A number of legal or prescribed drugs that one purchase from a Target, CVS, Walmart, or grocery store could cause impairment even if they say “non-drowsy”. They often have warnings attesting to this. If the drug is an actual prescription from a doctor, that also may impair someone and may come with a warning not to operate heavy machinery.
Pairing even simple over-the-counter drugs with alcohol could have devastating effects as well. If a person takes their cough medicine and heads out with some friends after work for a glass of wine, that alcohol could combine with the drug and cause impairment.
Some ailments also slow down a person’s metabolism, meaning that the drug does not act in the way it would normally act. It may take longer to break down and stay in their system for longer, leading them to drive when they think the drug is supposed to have worn off.
Sometimes, the state could lower a charge to negligent driving if the person was taking a prescription in the intended way, without sign of abuse, and was forthcoming about it when questioned, but they could prosecute it as well.
Mistakes to Avoid
The biggest mistake to make during a drug DUI case is talking. A person stopped for a DUI charge should not reveal any information until after they have spoken to their lawyer.
They should hand the officer their license and registration. They should say no to the field testing and to any further testing. The biggest mistake could be made by not being consistent with what they say, double-talking, or changing their story.
Speak to an Attorney Instead
If you were pulled over and charged with a drug-related DUI, then you need to take every step you could to preserve your record. Contact a Rockville DUI drug lawyer for the legal help you need and to begin building your legal defense. Conact an attorney today.