Involuntary Intoxication in Colonial Heights DUI Drug Cases

Drug DUI cases can be a little more complicated that alcohol-based DUIs due to the question of intent. Involuntary intoxication in Colonial Heights DUI drug cases is more common than some might believe. Involuntary intoxication refers to when someone takes a prescribed medication and becomes intoxicated, without knowing that it is a potential side effect. In some instances, attorneys may attempt to use it as a defense, but it can be difficult to make it stick. If you want to know more about involuntary intoxication as a defense, speak with an experienced drug DUI attorney today.

Laws Regulating DUIs

With every DUI offense, whether it be alcohol-based or drug-based, there is always going to be a rationale behind the law, such as some kind of a public policy reasoning, a safety reasoning. There is always going to be some kind of rationale behind the making of the criminal offense, something that the Commonwealth is trying to protect. The purpose of a DUI is to protect the general public from itself in that people are ingesting alcohol and then subsequently driving cars, potentially harming other individuals.

The intent element of the crime is in the drinking and driving or in the ingesting of the intoxicant and then operating a motor vehicle. Making that decision is what the general assembly is attempting to curb or curtail. There is a criminal intent element that exists in most offenses. When dealing with DUI, that criminal intent is that a person intends to ingest a substance and that they subsequently intend to drive a vehicle or to operate a vehicle. The issue with involuntary intoxication in Colonial Heights DUI drug cases is that an individual still intended to ingest the substance and drive, even if they did not know impairment would result from that decision.

Purpose of DUI Statutes

The DUI statute is not designed to punish those who did not intend to ingest the alcoholic substance because they are not then making the decision to operate a vehicle while intoxicated. They were not trying to get intoxicated or were not ingesting intoxicants in the first place. Given all of that information, the statute will not punish them. It is the person’s burden to prove, but if they can show the judge and/or the jury that the intoxicants were placed in the person’s body without their knowledge, then it destroys the criminal intent to subsequently drink and drive, smoke and drive, or whatever the charge may be.

Involuntary Intoxication as a Defense

If the driver did not know that the drug would impair them, that is not going to help them. The burden is not on the Commonwealth to prove that the person knew that the drug would impair them. In the eyes of the Virginia Code, all people are responsible for what they put in their own bodies. It is their responsibility to know that the medications or substances they ingest may impair their ability to drive.

Value of  Colonial Heights Drug DUI Lawyer

There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to DUIs. With a DUID, there are even more because the Commonwealth has more elements to prove. There are going to be more nuances involved in not only the actual DUI itself but also the identity of the intoxicant and how the intoxicant actually affects the person. A person is going to want an experienced lawyer who has worked with these types of cases before and is going to be able to defend the person in a proper way that leads to the case being dismissed at the end of the day. If an individual wants to know more about involuntary intoxication in Colonial Heights DUI drug cases, they should consult a knowledgeable attorney.