DUI Drug and Alcohol Interaction in Bethesda
DUI charges are taken incredibly seriously on their own and are only amplified by any interaction with either illegal or prescribed drugs. The mixing of such substances can impair an individual incredibly, and lead to dangerous and sometimes deadly motor vehicle accidents. Being charged with a DUI in Bethesda because of a drug and alcohol interaction can have severe consequences, and should only be defended through the experience of a seasoned DUID attorney.
Severity of Mixing Drugs and Alcohol on a Charge
A mixing of drugs and alcohol can affect the way a DUI case is prosecuted in Bethesda. Sometimes a prosecutor can go forward on varying theories for driving under the influence or while impaired. Those theories can include driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs, or driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
The methods under which the authorities prosecute a case like this vary depending on the substance the person had in their system and how the case is prepared. For example, with a drug case, a drug recognition expert might be called by the prosecutors to testify about a person’s particular reaction to stimuli or performance on field sobriety tests.
Additionally, when drugs are involved, there might be urinalysis tests or blood tests to help the court understand the levels of impairment or intoxication of that person. These tests are less likely to be present in an alcohol-related case.
Mixing Prescription Drugs with Alcohol
The problem with mixing prescription drugs and alcohol comes when the mixture causes impairment of someone’s abilities or their safety on the roadway to such a degree that they are criminally charged. People who find themselves in this situation often think that because the prescription medication was properly prescribed to them and they took it in accordance with the instructions of their doctor, they should not face penalties for driving under the influence or while impaired. That is not true.
A person is responsible for how medications affect their body and for making sure they understand all side-effects of medications. If a person takes the risk of mixing a medication they were properly taking with alcohol and a police officer determines that person is impaired by alcohol, they should expect to be charged. That individual should expect to be fully prosecuted by the state attorney’s office regardless of whether the medications they were legally prescribed or the alcohol they consumed while on those medications was a small amount of alcohol.
It is important that people know this and take precautions. Most medications that an individual takes that can be affected by an interaction with alcohol will often have warning labels that indicate using extreme caution. People should take those medications and the labels on them very seriously. Understanding the side-effects of a prescription drug can help an individual avoid being charged with a DUI in Bethesda because of a drug and alcohol interaction.
The penalties are not necessarily more serious for a drug and alcohol DUI interaction in Bethesda in the way they are written as prescribed by the statute. However, the penalties could be more serious in the way a judge imposes them.
For example, someone driving under the influence of drugs and someone driving under the influence of alcohol most likely face the same maximum jail time for their cases. However, someone driving under the influence of alcohol with no priors is unlikely to face jail time on a first alcohol-related offense. Someone driving under the influence of drugs might receive more attention from the court, might get more treatment or therapy if necessary, or might be given more punishment such as incarceration.