Building a Defense For Richmond DUI Drug Charges

Accused of driving under the influence of drugs in Richmond? Here’s what you should know about common defenses and the impact that a mixture of drugs and alcohol can have on your case. For more information call and schedule a consultation with a Richmond DUI drug lawyer today.

Common Defense Strategies For a Drug DUI Charge

Legal defenses for DUI drug charges usually revolve around the circumstances of the police officer’s initial stop such as if there was probable cause for the stop and if there was an issue with how the blood tests were conducted. In other words, did the officer conduct the correct and proper test?

The defense will also inquire about the actual drug sample taken in the blood test by asking questions such as:

  • Who took the sample?
  • Were they trained to take this sort of sample?
  • How did they handle the sample?

Additionally, they can ask how these samples were transported from the hospital to the department of forensic science and if there an issue with the chain of custody for these samples. These questions are standard for the legal defense in drug DUI cases.

Common Defense Methods

Some of the other lines of defense that can develop in a DUID case depend on whether the individual charged was taking the drugs as prescribed by a doctor and just had an adverse reaction, or if the drug itself was prescribed incorrectly for the individual and inadvertently caused impairment.

Impact of a Mixture of Drug and Alcohol

The mixture of drugs and alcohol can definitely affect the way a DUI case is prosecuted. If prosecutors see indicators of a mixture of drugs and alcohol they will discuss that in the trial.  The defense can try to show that the alcohol only affected the situation slightly and impairment may have been an unforeseen reaction with the drug.

Will Penalties Be More Serious if You’re Found To Have Both in Your System?

The penalties can definitely be more serious if both drugs and alcohol caused impairment, especially if the alcohol level is very high and the drug is considered a more serious drug, such as heroin or cocaine.

With that said, we routinely see cases in which an individual mixed a small amount of alcohol with a prescription drug and got a DUI charge. Unfortunately in these cases, the responsibility is on the individual not to mix alcohol and drugs of any sort, especially if the prescription states that it should not be mixed with alcohol.

Can A Mixture of Drugs and Alcohol Ever Not Be The Driver’s Fault?

In some cases an individual can follow all of the prescription’s rules and then either have an adverse reaction from a small amount of alcohol, or the way their body processed the prescription can cause impairment.  Those rare cases do exist in which an individual has a unique reaction to the particular drug, and the impairment affects their ability to drive.

How Are These Situations Litigated?

In cases of inadvertent intoxication, we speak with the court and the prosecutors regarding the situation, and we seek medical documentation from the individual or the doctor who originally prescribed the medicine.

In many cases, we’ll also ask a medical professional to testify in court as to the type of medication and any possible unforeseen reactions that it can cause.