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Defending a Rockville Drug DUI Charge
When someone is charged with a drug DUI in Rockville, Maryland they are facing a case process that will be very similar to an alcohol-related DUI case. However, due to the fact that certain drugs are illegal, a DUID charge may bring further complications, including potentially more severe penalties. Speaking with a Rockville drug DUI lawyer will increase your understanding of these charges, including how prosecutors may approach these cases differently than they would a regular DUI.
Severity of Rockville Drug DUI Charges
If somebody is under the influence of drugs and alcohol, that is a much more serious case for the court to consider. It is also a much more difficult to defend, because the individual will be charged with more offenses. The prosecution will have more ability to prosecute a DUID charge and there will be a more serious prosecution on which they can proceed. All of these will make the case very difficult for defense counsel to try to resolve.
The process of defense is still the same, however. Prosecutors in Rockville must still prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, their driving was impaired by those substances, and there was no other basis for the impairment.
Legal and Over the Counter Medications
You do not need to be under the influence of illegal drugs in order to be charged with a DUID in Rockville. When somebody takes a prescription medication or over-the-counter medication, they are at risk of some type of reaction by taking that medication. Any medication that causes drowsiness or has other side effects usually has a warning telling you not to operate heavy machinery while you are under the influence of that particular medication.
People should take those notifications very seriously. The court system puts the onus on the individual to determine how a medication might affect them and whether or not they are safe to operate a vehicle.
Any kind of prescription medication that has the side effect of impairing your ability to operate a motor vehicle could trigger a DUI drug charge in Rockville. That includes common medications like Ambien, anti-depressants like Zoloft, or anti-anxiety medications like Valium. These are very common medications that many people are prescribed and take, but which can render them unable to safely drive a car. It is important to talk to a doctor before taking any of these medications to determine whether or not you will be safe to drive a vehicle afterwards.
Defending Drugs v. Alcohol DUI Cases
The penalties are not more serious if you have both alcohol and drugs in your system. They fall under the same category, which is driving under the influence of alcohol or driving while impaired by alcohol. Being charged with a DUID does not automatically mean harsher penalties, but it does have the possibility of having more than one charge brought up against you.
A person may have more serious penalties if they were found to be driving under the influence and the Motor Vehicle Administration conducted a hearing for them during which they are referred to the Medical Advisory Board for substance abuse issues. They would then have to see doctors and provide medical reports of their good mental health and medical conditions before their driver’s license is returned. The Motor Vehicle Administration takes DUI drug cases extremely seriously.
The court system believes it is always irresponsible to mix medications with alcohol. Even if somebody accidentally mixed alcohol with medications and they became under the influence, but did not expect to be under the influence, the law still states that they are responsible for their actions at that point. Their lack of voluntary intoxication is not an effective defense when going to court for these types of charges.