Proving Stamford DUI Drug Offenses
Charges for DUI’s for a drug-related impairment occur the same way they would for a DUI for alcohol such as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, thus affecting their ability to drive. The penalties associated with a drug DUI do not differ from those related to an alcohol-related DUI. The penalties are so similar that if an individual gets arrested for a DUI drug offense, they will be required to take alcohol education classes. If you find yourself facing drug-related driving charges, contact an experienced DUID lawyer to begin building your defense.
Drug-Related Impairment Laws
The statute in Connecticut states that an individual cannot operate a motor vehicle while they are under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or any drug, or both. Even if the drugs are legally prescribed, if an individual is under the influence in a way that would affect their ability to drive then they can still be arrested for a DUI.
What Role do Over-the-Counter Medications Play?
DUID laws apply to over-the-counter medications count as well. If an individual takes too much Benadryl, for example, that could cause them to be impaired to the point where they should not drive a car. One of the biggest mistakes having the drugs in the car. It is very easy for the police to spot drugs in someone’s car and jump to a conclusion that an individual is under the influence of drugs. This is important to understand before law enforcement can begin proving Stamford DUI drug offenses.
It is actually not a defense for a drug DUI if an individual meant to get intoxicated or not. Intent is not an element of DUI in Connecticut. If an individual is driving a motor vehicle and they are intoxicated then they will receive a DUI. The prosecutor really will not care, either way, if the person meant to get intoxicated or not. They may take that into account when plea-bargaining, but as far as proving it at trial, all they need to show is that the person was intoxicated, whether they meant to be or not, and that they were behind the wheel of a car and driving.
After a person completes a field sobriety test, they can ask the person to submit to a blood test, which the person has the right to refuse with no consequences, and they can ask the person to submit to a urine test as well. It will all be sent to the Connecticut Lab which will test for the presence of drugs.
Impairment by Drug or Alcohol Interaction
In situations like that, the police would probably use more traditional way of proving Stamford DUI drug offenses such as using the field sobriety tests and observation. If an individual takes a breathalyzer and blows, for instance a 0.02, but they are very obviously stumbling around, slurring words and intoxicated, then the police can still arrest that person for a DUI. They can test for the presence of drugs and perhaps those interactions together make the person intoxicated.
Testing for the Presence of Drugs
Stamford police will test for the presence of drugs in a few ways. They can do some field sobriety tests very specifically meant to look for drugs such as the Lack of Convergence Test, which is similar to the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. They take the pen and they move it around a person’s face and they ask to track it with their eyes. The LOC is specifically for drugs.
Law enforcement can use the Romberg Balance Test for proving Stamford DUI drug offenses. This consists of asking the person to close their eyes, tilt their head back and count to 30. What the police officer notes how and when they get to 30 seconds can be an indication that drugs are involved.
What are the Laws Regarding Refusal?
An individual has the right to refuse the field sobriety tests. However, if the police still believe there is probable cause to arrest them, they will arrest them and take them to the station for a breath test. in Stamford, there is implied consent. When an individual gets behind the wheel of a car, there is an implied consent that they can be tested for drugs and alcohol by a chemical test if pulled over by police and suspected of a DUI.
A person can refuse to take the test, but the consequence is that the person is subjected to an ignition interlock device in the car for one year where, if the person took the test, it would be six months.
Hiring a Lawyer
It is very important to contact an experienced lawyer because there are a lot of parts of the case that can disappear very quickly, such as the videos of the police pulling the person over and performing tests, the videos of the breathalyzer being administered, and the records related to that. It is important to hire an attorney who knows how to put the wheels in motion as quickly as possible, to preserve those things and to get a copy of all of them moving forward.