Difference Between Alcohol and Drug Related DUIs in Loudoun County
In Loudoun County and throughout Virginia, you may be charged with DUI for being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Below, a Loudoun County DUI Drug lawyer discusses the differences between these two types of charges and the difficulties of proving each. If you have been accused call and schedule a consultation today.
What Are The Differences Between The Investigation For a Drug Related DUI and An Alcohol Related DUI?
In a trial for a DUID case, the investigation techniques and the trial techniques will be different from a DUI case involving alcohol.
Some of the important differences include the options of blood testing, the use of the independent lab option for the blood test, and the interpretation of the Field Sobriety Tests. More often, for example, medications that may cause a DUID charge are being taken for a specific purpose, and that purpose may relate to one’s physical health, therefore physically demanding Field Sobriety Tests may not be appropriate. Other times, if the tests are appropriate, it will be a good measure to determine the person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
In addition, there may be witnesses required in a DUID trial case. These initial witnesses may include the nurse at the hospital, any additional hospital personnel that observed the draw of the blood, personnel at DFS who received the blood, personnel of DFS who tested the blood and any corresponding toxicologist that the Commonwealth or the defense subpoenas to interpret test results.
How Are DUI Drug Stops Different From DUI Stops Involving Alcohol?
DUI stops involving drugs are similar to standard DUI stops because they are likely to involve a battery of Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) and a conversation with the arresting officer. They are different because obviously the portable breath test that determines the presence of alcohol is not relevant in a DUID stop, nor are some of the alcohol-related Field Sobriety Tests.
In addition, the observations of the officer and the behavior of the accused, such as their ability to answer questions, their physical appearance and their answers to normal biographic questions such as the time of day, where they are coming from, their name and certain biographic information will necessarily be more relevant in a DUID stop than they may be in an alcohol-related DUI stop.
Is It Harder To Prove Someone Was Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol?
It may be easier or more difficult to prove than a DUI case involving alcohol, depending on the circumstances of the case, which are unique and specific in every DUID case.
However there are several instances in which a DUID case will be easier to prove than a DUI alcohol case. These instances would include when the driver makes specific admissions about the consumption of illegal drugs and these illegal drugs have known serious physical and mental consequences, and when these substances are readily identified through the blood test.
There are also instances in which a DUID case may be more difficult to prosecute and prove than a DUI alcohol case. Some of these examples may include when there are merely traces of illegal substances or prescription medications in the blood, and when the trace amounts do not necessarily have any influence on physical or mental activities.