Difference Between a Drug and Alcohol DUI in Richmond

In addition to alcohol, other drugs and controlled substances can also lead to DUI charges in Richmond. With that said, however, there are some differences in the way cases are proven in court. Below, a Richmond DUI drug lawyer discusses these similarities and differences and the evidence that is typically used. To learn more call and schedule a consultation today.

For the most part, a DUID and a DUI for alcohol case play out very similarly. In both cases, the officer will testify as to why he or she stopped an individual, what tests they performed, and what indicators of impairment the individual exhibited. Additionally, in both cases a test will be administered, with a blood test administered in DUID cases and a breathalyzer administered in DUI alcohol cases.
One small difference between the two is that an official from the department of forensic science is required to appear in court to testify regarding drug levels and the levels of impairment for a DUID case, but not for alcohol DUI cases.  In an alcohol related DUI case the State will instead need to show you blew 0.08 or higher to be presumed intoxicated.

Proving Impairment In DUI Cases

It’s actually harder for state prosecutors to prove that an individual was under the influence of drugs while operating a vehicle, since the standards for measuring intoxication or being under the influence of drugs differ greatly than those for alcohol intoxication. With an alcohol charge you are presumed intoxicated if your blood alcohol level is 0.08 or higher. In a drug DUI charge, levels of intoxication can vary greatly since some studies have shown that each body metabolizes drugs differently.

What Does The State Need to Prove in a DUID Case?

In a drug DUI case, the state needs to prove that you were operating the vehicle and that you were operating the vehicle in such a way that indicated impairment. The state then needs to show that you were under the influence of drugs while operating your vehicle via the results of a blood test. In addition, the state will need to demonstrate the drug levels in your system and the type of impairment that those substances could cause.  Finally, prosecution needs to show how the tests were conducted, who conducted the tests, and how the blood was handled.

Are DUID Cases Involving Marijuana Handled Any Differently?

Generally, DUID cases involving marijuana are not being handled any differently than they have been previously. In most DUID cases, if the level of impairment due to marijuana adversely affects your ability to drive, officers will charge you with a DUID.  Changes in marijuana law are not likely to impact DUID charges as these cases are a public safety issue.