DUI Drug Charges in Virginia
In addition to alcohol, you may also be charged with a DUI if under the influence of drugs. Below is more information on what constitutes a DUID and what types of drugs can lead to this charge. If you are already facing charged of driving under the influence of drugs, consult with a Virginia DUI lawyer today to discuss your case.
Prevalence of DUID Charges in Virginia
Drug DUI charges are extremely common in Virginia. Drug DUI charges frequently arise from routine traffic stops where the presence of drugs is detected. Significant resources are directed by every locality to the detection and prosecution of DUI drug cases. Convictions are common as well, though under the right circumstances and with the right approach, these kinds of charges can in many instances be reduced or dismissed.
When DUID Charges Come Into Play
A person can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs if they are found operating a motor vehicle while such person is under the influence of any narcotic drug ,or any other self-administered intoxicant or drug of whatsoever nature, or any combination of such drugs to a degree that impairs his or her ability to drive or operate a motor vehicle safely.
Stops for these kinds of cases are similar to stops for other kinds of DUI. Most of the time, they result from either some kind of erratic driving behavior or from some traffic infraction being committed and the officer subsequently noticing evidence of impairment and/or drug use during the stop.
Must You Be Under the Influence Illegal Drugs for a Drug DUI?
Virginia law makes it clear that it’s illegal to be under the influence of any drug or combination of drugs to a degree that impairs safe driving. This includes over-the-counter medication as well as prescription medication. It also includes any combination of drugs.
For example, a prescription drug that has an unanticipated reaction to an over-the-counter drug or an unanticipated reaction with a small amount of alcohol, to a degree that safe driving is impaired, will be treated as a DUI in Virginia.
Illegal Substances That Can Trigger DUI Arrest and Criminal Charge
DUI can result from all kinds of illegal substances. The most common ones are marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, LSD, and PCP. In addition, DUI frequently results from drugs that are legal to possess if you have a prescription but are illegal without one such as oxycodone, Percocet, Xanax, and many kinds of opiates.
How Drug DUIs are Treated By Law Enforcement
DUI drug cases are certainly a priority for Virginia law enforcement. Significant training, as well as significant resources in terms of manpower, are directed towards helping police detect DUI drug cases and effectively build those cases. Similarly, prosecutors receive specific training on how to prosecute and try these types of cases.
As far as the government is concerned, these cases are just as dangerous and in some cases, more dangerous than the DUI involving alcohol. This mirrors the way that the law treats these cases. If someone is under the influence of either alcohol or any kind of drug to a degree that safe driving is impaired, or any combination of alcohol and drugs, the consequences are the same, and they’re treated equally seriously.