An ignition interlock device will not be required for a first-time DUI offense but will be required for a second DUI offense—regardless of whether that second offense involved drugs or alcohol. A second DUI conviction results in four months of no driving at all followed by 12 months of driving with a limited permit and an ignition interlock device. In a prescription or illicit drug case, the ignition interlock device component of the penalty is completely unwarranted because blowing into the machine will not detect whether or not someone has drugs in their system; it can only detect alcohol. However, an individual cannot avoid getting the device; even if they wait out the entire suspension period, the Department of Driver Services will not allow them to have their license back until they have had the device installed in their vehicle for 12 months.
How Much Do You Rely On The Science Behind Blood Tests To Formulate Defense Strategies For Drug DUI Cases?
Science is a very important part of a DUI drug case when prescription drugs are involved. If an illicit drug such as cocaine or methamphetamine is involved, then the level of drug present won’t matter, because it’s illegal at any level. When prescription drugs are involved, there will be questions for the forensic toxicologist in terms of the dosages, the length of time the drug has been in someone’s system, how long the drug would be detectable in someone’s system, and the reactions the drug may have with other substances in the body.
What Are The Collateral Consequences Faced By Someone Charged With a Drug DUI?
The collateral consequences for a DUI are those that have an effect outside of the criminal case, the major one being driver’s license suspension. A first offense results in the loss of license for 120 days, and a second offense results in loss of the license for up to 18 months. If someone receives three convictions within five years, then they will lose their license for five years. There are also consequences involving car insurance. For example, most people who have received a DUI conviction will be dropped from what’s called First Year Insurance Coverage and be forced to shop for insurance on the secondary market, which is considerably more expensive. This is a consequence that will last until the conviction drops from an individual’s record.
Why Is It Critical To Retain An Attorney Who Is Experienced In Handling Drug-Related DUI Cases?
One of the reasons it’s critical to retain an attorney who has experience handling drug-related DUI cases is because there is no specific limit in terms of how much of a drug someone is allowed to have in their system. While many studies have been done regarding blood alcohol levels and the corresponding effects on the ability to drive, such studies have not been done for drugs, particularly for marijuana, opioids, benzodiazepines, and other types of prescription drugs. To worsen matters, a person could test positive for marijuana simply because they used it several days prior to the incident in question in a state where it was lawful. People who use prescription drugs or marijuana on a regular basis will be less susceptible to the effects and will require more in order to achieve the same therapeutic effect. As a result, an individual may test positive for a high level of marijuana or another drug while not actually being impaired by the drug. Due to the interplay of all of these variables, it is essential to have an attorney who knows the relevant science and who can cross-examine forensic toxicologists hired by the state.
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