DUI With Drugs

Think you can only receive a DUI for using alcohol, think again!  In Colorado, it is possible to obtain a DUI for alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.  It is even possible to receive such charges while on prescription drugs if they are known to impair your ability to drive safely.

What Is A DUID?

A DUID is a DUI acquired for driving while under the influence of drugs or both drugs and alcohol.

Types of DUID

Within a charge of DUID, there are several categories.  The first is a DUID for prescription drugs.  This is quite alarming for many people as they assume taking a legally prescribed medication from their doctor would certainly not involve breaking the law.  Unfortunately, a drug is a drug no matter if it is legally prescribed or not.  Many medications for pain make it dangerous to drive.  Simply put, any medication that impairs your ability to safely operate a vehicle due to drowsiness, fuzziness, impaired reaction time, etc. could lead to a charge of DUID.  For those facing such charges, it is difficult but necessary to prove the amount of medication in their blood was not high enough to cause impairment.

The second type of DUID is one with Marijuana.  This may also seem confusing and contradictory as this substance is currently legal in Colorado, although it still remains illegal within most of the United States.  This substance is heavily used by residents for recreation and medicinal purposes alike.  Hence, many people maintain heightened levels of THC constantly.  If you are found with levels that exceed 5 nanograms per milliliter in your blood you will be charged with a DUID for marijuana as you will be considered intoxicated under Colorado law.  Such cases present unique challenges as regular users of marijuana develop tolerance, meaning they no longer experience impairment with higher levels of use.  Thus, a new user may be more impaired than a regular user that tests above legal limits.  Unfortunately, this factor is not considered, and legally speaking any person above the limit will be considered intoxicated.

Within, the DUID categories the most commonly thought of charge is one for driving under the influence of illegal drugs.  These charges are generally more severe as substances such as cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, etc. are completely illegal across the entire country.  No matter the level of impairment it is likely that a person facing charges related to illegal substances will face steeper consequences than DUID’s obtained for prescription drugs or marijuana.  Furthermore, these kinds of drug charges can be combined with other serious drug charges such as felony drug possession, making the entire case much more serious.

Associated Penalties

The consequences of driving impaired by drugs are almost the same as those incurred for drunk driving.  The one difference is that DUID’s do not carry automatic, mandatory jail time for a first offense.  It is possible that persons convicted of DUID may face jail time of up to one year, either supervised or unsupervised probation, as much as $1,500 in fines, up to 120 hours of community service and mandatory substance abuse classes/therapy.  If you are convicted, you will also receive a nasty 12 points on your driver’s license which results in suspension of your driving privileges.

Be sure to contact a skilled DUI attorney today.  Don’t let a simple mistake ruin your life.  Many people are not even aware they can be charged for DUID due to driving while on prescription medication.  Ensure the best possible outcome for your case, by allowing a competent attorney to defend your case!