For drug cases, the presumption pursuant to Virginia Code Section 18.2-266 includes concentration equal to or greater than 0.02 milligrams of cocaine per liter of blood, 0.1 milligrams of methamphetamine per liter of blood, or 0.01 milligrams of phencyclidine per liter of blood. While these blood presumption cases are very rare, DUID or driving while under the influence of drugs is actually a common offense in Loudoun County. The penalties for DUID and DUI are exactly the same. The following questions below about DUI drug are answered by a Loudoun County drug DUI lawyer.
Yes. Driving while intoxicated (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI) are the same offense in Virginia. They’re both governed by Virginia Code Sections 18.2-266 and 18.2-270.
Yes. Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 18.2-266, you can be charged if you’re under the influence of any narcotic drug or any self-administered intoxicant or drug of any nature—to the degree that it impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. This means that it can be a prescription drug or over-the-counter drug. If any of these drugs impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle, you’re responsible for what you put in your body.
The biggest mistakes to avoid in drug DUI cases are simply thinking that having a prescription is a valid defense. It’s not. In addition, another mistake is not going with counsel who is experienced in defending DUID cases. There are certain field sobriety tests and indications of impairment that are more appropriate for DUID cases than for alcohol cases. Having an attorney skilled in identifying them and identifying what defenses you may have is very important.
Involuntary intoxication is a defense, but it’s not necessarily what people commonly think involuntary intoxication means. Involuntary intoxication does not mean taking a drug and not knowing its side effects. You’re responsible for what you’re putting into your body. Involuntary intoxication essentially means that you were forced to consume a drug or alcohol against your will.
If you had a reason to believe that the drug would not impair you, then that may be a defense to your DUID charge. However, this is very fact and case specific. In addition, if you had a drug interaction for which you’re not notified or are unprepared for, you may have a defense to the charge.
Law enforcement officials test for the presence of drugs by administering field sobriety tests. Yes, you can absolutely refuse to perform field sobriety tests.
Other evidence that may be offered by the prosecution in a DUID case to prove impairment can include:
If you’re facing a DUID or DUI by drugs charge in Loudoun County, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney because these cases are very complex. An experienced Loudoun County Drug DUI attorney has seen similar cases before. Even though every case is unique, I have a plethora of knowledge and experience from which to draw on when determining how to decipher and break down the prosecution’s case.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law