As law enforcement efforts to crack down on drunk drivers increase, we are seeing an alarming trend of clients being charged with driving under the influence of drugs. "Driving under the influence" means driving a vehicle when a person has consumed alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs, which alcohol alone, or one or more drugs alone, or alcohol combined with one or more drugs affects the person to a degree that the person is substantially incapable, either mentally or physically, or both mentally and physically, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.
The type of drug really does not matter. You can be charged with DUI or DWAI if the officer believes you are under the influence or impaired by any drugs or alcohol or combination of both. This can mean over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, cannabis, narcotics, etc.
The criminal courts do not differentiate DUIs based on alcohol or drug consumption. The possible penalties for a DUI drug charge are the same as a DUI alcohol charge. DUID cases are unique as they do not fall under the Colorado Per Se Law. The Colorado Per Se Law states that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .05 for DWAI and .08 for DUI. However, there is no magic number for blood or urine tests in relation to DUID cases. The district attorney will rely on officer testimony to the observed indicia of impairment that the defendant exhibited.
Because most officers are not adequately trained in recognizing DUID cases and the indicia of impairment from drugs, DREs (drug recognition evaluators) are often times called in to conduct specific tests used to identify drug impairment. The state must also prove that you were impaired or intoxicated at the time of driving. Certain evidentiary chemical tests cannot determine impairment at the time of driving, as they are taken well after the time of driving or have already passed through the blood stream and may be present in the body, but are not impairing the driver. Because of the scientific and evidentiary nature of DUID defense you should seek the counsel of a qualified and competent DUID Defense attorney to discuss your case. All DUID cases should have a secondary sample retested by an independent certified laboratory. For more information on how to have your test retested or to speak with an aggressive and knowledgeable DUID defense attorney, contact The Orr Law Firm immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.