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Building a Defense For DC DUI Drug Charges

Due to the severity of DUID charges and the impact that they can have on those accused, it is important that you understand the factors that go into building a defense in order to put forth the strongest argument for your freedom. With this in mind, the following is information on the process of building a defense for DUID charges and how an experienced attorney can help. To learn more call and schedule a consultation with a DC DUI Drug lawyer today.

Process Involved in Building a Defense

The process of building a defense begins with the investigation, where an attorney will go out to the scene of where the defendant was pulled over, observe the scene, photograph it, take measurement of it, and look at the surrounding buildings and anything else that could have had a potential impact on the stop or the field sobriety tests.

Once this is done, it is important to explore, in detail, the procedures used by police in conducting their investigation. Due to the fact that they are bound by the training they receive, there is a training manual that supplies in specific details the steps that the police officers are supposed to take when conducting a DUI drug investigation. Law enforcement officers are told when they are trained not to deviate from that because if they do then they can skew the results.

Additionally, it is important to look at the testing procedures and how the samples were collected, stored, analyzed, and whether all the machines used during this process were properly maintained. Following the investigation of all of these various steps, it is also important to ensure that there weren’t any sort of medical conditions that the person was suffering from that could have either affected the result or made it a false positive.

Can You Be Charged For a Legal or Prescribed Drug?

Someone can be charged with driving under the influence of a drug or medication for any drug or medication that can have an impairing effect. That applies whether the drug is illegal like cocaine or heroin, a prescription drug like Oxycontin, or an over-the-counter medication like a sleeping pill.

How Can The Mixture of Alcohol and Drugs Impact Your Defense?

The mixing of a small amount of drugs with a small amount of alcohol can create what is called synergistic effect, which multiplies their effect on a person. As a defendant it is important to keep this in mind, because at first glance what might seem to be a low breath alcohol content coming from a breathalyzer machine, may not be the whole story.

In fact, if there is a person that comes out with evidence of drug use and a chemical test that shows that the person had drugs in their system at the time they were driving, low amounts of each can create impairment that wouldn’t be there if it were just either one of the substances. This often leads to consulting with an expert about the pharmacological effect of a substance upon the human body.

Can A Legal Prescription Mixed With a Glass of Wine Still Lead to a DUI Charge?

It is important to know that every person’s biochemistry is different. A 12 ounce of wine mixed with a prescription drug can have a different effect upon different people.  There are people who take Ambien and have a small amount of wine and they black out and wake up in their cars miles away from their home having no memory of how they got there.  That’s just with one Ambien and a small amount of wine.  Other people might not have the same effect. So it’s difficult to say, but in general, it is in your best interest not to mix a prescription or other drugs with alcohol since it can have an unanticipated effect on someone particularly if they are driving.

Potential Defense Strategies For DUID Charges

Some possible defense strategies are exploring in minute details the law enforcement officer’s investigation of the charge in the field, which includes the sobriety tests that the officer conducted and the basis of the stop of the car. Then, moving on to the chemical testing procedures, were the samples properly collected, stored, analyzed, and interpreted. All these things could be the basis of a defense strategy.

Additionally, other possible defenses could be that you weren’t driving at the time or that although chemical testing shows the presence of drug in your blood or urine, at the time you were actually driving you were not under the influence or intoxicated.  That strategy most likely requires an expert to bring it forth in a powerful way.

Involuntary Intoxication

Involuntary intoxication can be a defense if a person did not feel the effects of the alcohol or drug at the time he or she began driving. For example, if you were unknowingly drugged at a bar or night club and only began feeling the effects of the drug after you began driving, then involuntary intoxication can be a defense.

However, involuntary intoxication is not a defense on grounds that you did not know that a drug would impair you. As an example, it is not a defense that someone did not realize that the combination of one glass of wine and Ambien would result in impairment. People are assumed to know the risks of any medications that they take and are assumed to know the risks of combining those medications with alcohol or any other drugs.

How An Attorney Can Help

An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can do everything from make sure that a person doesn’t make statements to the police, to investigating at the scene, to taking pictures,  analyzing the person’s vehicle, and researching your officers involved.  Also, they can look at blood, breath, and urine samples and investigate how they were collected and analyzed.  An attorney can look at the records of repair and calibration of the machines that are used to analyze those samples. In addition, they help their client get ready to testify, formulate a defense, and bring witnesses to court.

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