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Bethesda DUI Drug Arrests

DUI cases that involve drug use are always a priority for officers no matter what part of Maryland they are in. Officers in Bethesda recognize that there will be a lot of alcohol-related DUI offenses as people go to bars and restaurants downtown, but they are also aware of the potential drug DUI offenses and will take them seriously.

Officers have seen an uptick of abuse of prescription medications in Bethesda. For that reason, officers receive specialized training in the identification of prescription medications and common signs of impairment, based on medication type, particularly in Bethesda. Officers are prepared to take DUI drug arrests in Bethesda seriously, and if you are facing an arrest, a DUI drug attorney will be essential to building your defense.

Drugs DUI Offense vs. Alcohol DUI Offense

When officers charge individuals with criminal offenses, such as a DUI, there is no significant difference in the beginning  between whether it was for being under the influence of alcohol or under the influence of drugs. The charges have the same maximum penalties, significant possibilities of incarceration, and probation.

While the law does not state that driving under the influence of alcohol is less or more serious than driving under the influence of drugs, in courts in Bethesda, attorneys see individuals who are arrested driving under the influence of drugs treated a little differently. Those cases are ultimately going to be treated more severely than  driving under the influence of alcohol, which is partly because there is a stigma attached to drug use that does not extend to alcohol.

Looking for Evidence

An officer will usually call a drug recognition expert or a DRE when looking for evidence in a case after an arrest of a drug DUI in Bethesda, as a DRE is someone that has extensive training in recognizing signs of being under the influence of drugs. There are a number of tests that will address a person’s motor skills, look at their pupils, and the dilation in them. The officer’s testimony will determine whether or not they are qualified to be an expert and represent their evaluation of the accused’s impairment.

Different Field Sobriety Tests

The tests associated with alcohol-related DUI stops are divided attention tests, balance tests, and tests to determine if the driver has the ability to follow instructions.
The tests that are associated with a drug recognition are more complicated. The motor skills tests are more detailed. The driver’s response time, reaction to stimuli,  and ability to focus are also taken into account in a DRE field sobriety test.

Marijuana-Related Drug Cases

Driving under the influence of marijuana is not treated less severely than other DUI drug cases and arrests in Bethesda. There is a heightened sense of alertness by the court, police officers, and prosecutors with respect to these cases.

Now that small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized, people assume they can drive while under the influence of it. That is not the case and many prosecutors will look to prosecute an individual that is caught driving under the influence or while impaired by marijuana. If someone is facing an arrest of a drug DUI involved with marijuana in Bethesda, a DUI attorney will be of significant help.