Columbia DUI Drug Arrest Process
A person does not have to be under the influence of an illegal drug or substance to be charged with a drug DUI. Even if they are under the influence of drugs that were purchased over the counter or prescribed by a doctor, they are capable of being legally detained by law enforcement for driving under the influence.
Additionally, motorists who are permitted to consume marijuana for medicinal reasons can still be charged with a DUI. Medical marijuana and legally purchased drugs or prescriptions have the potential to lead to impairment. It is in an individual’s best interest to examine warning labels or speak to a doctor or a pharmacist about a drug’s capacity for impairment and its effects. If you have been charged with a drug DUI, contact a Columbia DUI drug attorney.
The drug DUI arrest process begins once a person is arrested. After they have been arrested, they will be transported to the police station for booking. An officer will record the individual’s personal information and may search their criminal record. Additionally, any personal items are confiscated and photographs and fingerprints are taken.
At this point in the process, an individual will submit to a drug test. There are a variety of drug tests that an individual will be required to take a blood or urine test. There is an implied consent rule in Columbia for blood testing, which states that a motorist is required to take a blood test if an officer reasonably believes that he or she was driving under the influence. Refusing to take the blood test may be used against the motorist as evidence in his or her trial.
DUI Drug Tests
The blood sample tests are considered to be the most accurate test of whether there are drugs present in a motorist’s system. However, blood samples could be wrong, depending on whether or not the sample was preserved properly or was analyzed immediately. Such samples may start decomposing and may lead to falsely high readings of drug presence. Additionally, there may be issues with the chain of custody of the blood sample if the laboratory does not follow proper record keeping procedures.
Currently, there is no test similar to the breathalyzer that is able to detect drug impairment. However, officers are hoping to have a device that would be able to provide an instantaneous reading of drug presence by analyzing a motorist’s breath samples. The only issue is that the device would only work with motorists who smoked marijuana, and not those who ingested it through the use of additives.
After the tests have been taken, the individual will then be placed in a holding cell, contact an attorney if desired, as well as possibly be able to pay bail and leave until their court date, depending on the circumstances.
Role of an Attorney
An attorney will be able to help you understand the evidence in your case, as well as help you prepare and get certain formalities are taken care of, such as signing up for a drug treatment program or community service before your scheduled court dates. This can help you best present your case to the judge and obtain a favorable result.
Mistakes to Avoid
The biggest mistakes to avoid include making incriminating statements to the officer when you are questioned prior to your drug DUI arrest. Generally, during a traffic stop, officers will inquire as to whether you consumed any drugs prior to driving. At this point in time, you have the right to remain silent. Additionally, motorists should avoid giving consent to officers who request to search the vehicle for drugs upon a traffic stop. Finally, the motorist must take a drug DUI charge seriously and hire an experienced attorney to help navigate him or her through the DUI process.