DUI Charges Involving Illegal Drugs
Unlike driving under the influence of alcohol, in which certain levels of blood alcohol concentration are permitted, driving with any (prohibited) drugs or their metabolites (products of metabolism) in your system is illegal. This applies to marijuana, dangerous drugs and narcotics, as well as any illegally obtained prescription medications. You can be charged with DUI - Drugs if any sign of these prohibited substances are detected by forensic testing. It is important to note that the crime laboratory may detect the substance even if the drugs were ingested over a week earlier. Because Arizona permits prosecution upon a finding of the metabolite of a prohibited substance, and because metabolites will remain in the system long after the active ingredient has dissipated, the time frame for acquiring necessary evidence for prosecution can be quite lengthy. You can also be charged with driving under the influence of legal substances if you were impaired while operating a motor vehicle.
If it can be shown that you were impaired by drugs while you were driving, you may face additional charges. Police officers use certain tests to attempt to establish drug impairment. This is known as a Drug Recognition Examination (DRE) and consists of some of the field sobriety tests used with suspected drunk drivers as well as additional procedures. A first time DUI with drugs can result in 10 days in jail (9 suspended), a fine of $250, $1000 surcharges, jail costs, probation and community work service. Repeat offenses come with increased penalties, including driver's license suspension. Action can be taken against your license by the MVD. However, with most actions taken by the MVD you will be entitled to a hearing. A skilled Tempe DUI attorney can help you fight these charges in the criminal courts and also assist with preserving driving privileges through representation at MVD hearings.
Facts on DUI Drug Charges
There are many aspects of a DUI drugs case that an experienced attorney must investigate in order to identify the best possible defenses to the DUI charges. Mr. Buckallew is uniquely qualified in handling DUI drug cases, given his background and experience in both criminal law as well as forensic science. He understands the process of analyzing blood or urine test results, as well as the potential areas where errors (such as cross-contamination or not following testing proper protocols) may occur, and through the course of his investigation, the attorney will be able to identify any weaknesses or errors which may have occurred during the testing process at the crime lab. As the Drug Recognition Examination is usually undertaken by officers with no medical training and is not subject to independent review, the attorney may also identify areas to attack the validity of these results in your case. Based on his findings after a thorough case investigation, the attorney will determine the best course of action in arriving at the best outcome possible in your case.
Contact an experienced Tempe DUI lawyer as soon as possible if you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs to ensure that your rights are protected and that any exculpatory evidence is preserved in your case.