Drug DUI Lawyer
Understanding DUID Offenses in Alexandria, VA & Washington, DC
While many instances of driving under the influence (DUI) involve alcohol, drivers can also get charged with driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) if they operate a motor vehicle with a specified amount of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol in their system.
Signs of Drug Intoxication
Each drug has a different effect on your brain and even small amounts of some drugs can impact your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Signs of intoxication include:
- Failing to turn headlights on at night
- Making wide turns
- Erratic braking
- Slow response to traffic signals
- Driving with your face close to the windshield
Each drug can result in different cognitive responses after use. For example, a driver who has used methamphetamine or cocaine may be more prone to reckless or aggressive driving, while marijuana slows reaction times and impairs the driver’s ability to judge distances. Further, benzodiazepines can make a driver dizzy or drowsy. We advise you to be mindful that these effects may be enhanced if you also consumed alcohol.
DUID in Alexandria, VA
Alexandria, VA law clearly prohibits operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of any intoxicating substance that impairs the ability to drive safely. However, because drugs cannot be detected with a breath test, a law enforcement officer who suspects that you are driving while under the influence of drugs may take your blood sample with or without your consent.
To be charged with DUID in Alexandria, VA the threshold amounts per liter of blood are:
- 0.02 milligrams of cocaine
- 0.1 milligrams of methamphetamine
- 0.01 milligrams of phencyclidine (PCP)
- 0.1 milligrams of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)
You can also be charged with Alexandria, VA DUID if a prescription or over-the-counter medication impairs your ability to drive safely. Alexandria, VA does not set a threshold amount for these drugs, so you can be charged with any amount in your blood. If you do not have a valid prescription, you may face additional criminal charges.
What are the Penalties for DUID in Alexandria, VA?
The state of Alexandria, VA imposes the same penalties for DUID as it does for DUI:
- A first offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or up to $2,500 fines.
- A second offense within 10 years is also a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 fines, but this charge carries a mandatory minimum fine of $500.
- A third offense within 10 years in a Class 6 felony punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $2,500 fines.
- A fourth or subsequent offense within 10 years is also a Class 6 felony punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $2,500 fines but includes a mandatory minimum of one-year incarceration and a $1,000 fine.
District of Columbia DUID
Washington, DC imposes strict penalties for driving under the influence of drugs, as it has a zero-tolerance policy for such an offense. Prosecutors must prove that you were operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated as well as under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or any combination thereof.
What are the Penalties for DUID in Washington, DC?
If the prosecution succeeds and convicts you of a drug DUI, you will face the same penalties as a DUI involving alcohol. They include:
First-offense: This is punishable by $1,000 fines, 180 days in jail, and/or a mandatory 15 days in jail if a schedule I drug, another controlled substance, or phencyclidine, cocaine, methadone, morphine, or one of its active metabolites or analogs was detected in your system.
Second offense: You will face $2,500 to $5,000 fines, up to 1 year in jail, and/or a mandatory 20 days in jail if your blood or urine test detected a schedule I drug, another controlled substance, or phencyclidine, cocaine, methadone, morphine, or one of its active metabolites or analogs was detected in your system.
Third offense: Your punishment will include $2,500 to $10,000 fines, up to 1 year in jail, and/or a 25-day mandatory minimum term of incarceration if a schedule I drug, another controlled substance, or phencyclidine, cocaine, methadone, morphine, or one of its active metabolites or analogs was detected in your blood or urine test.
Contact an Experienced DUID Attorney in Alexandria, VA and DC
If you have been charged with DUID in Alexandria, VA or Washington, D.C., contact a trusted defense lawyer at S.L. England, PLLC. We can challenge the basis for the traffic stop, the chain of custody for your blood sample, and the test results on your behalf. Once we gather every trace of evidence, our lawyer will build an aggressive defense for you.