Maryland Drug DUI Arrests and Trial Similarities to Alcohol DUIs
The arrest and criminal trial for a drug DUI procedure are almost identical to an alcohol DUI regarding the state’s burden of proof, the sequence in which they put on witnesses, and how they demonstrate a Fourth Amendment stop and seizure of a person that led to their arrest.
Maryland drug DUI arrests and trial similarities to alcohol DUIs are not different. The only things that differ are the observations an officer makes. The odor of alcohol is a major observation, which is usually lacking in a drug-related arrest. However, that does not preclude officers from arresting somebody based on other observations.
If you have been arrested for a drug or alcohol-related driving incident, an experienced drug DUI lawyer can help. A lawyer with experience in impaired driving cases can give you peace of mind when considering the Maryland drug DUI arrests and trial similarities to alcohol DUIs.
Drug Driving Determinations
There is a great deal of debate about whether officers can make any determinations based on an odor of marijuana coming from a car and small amounts of marijuana that are not illegal. Officers receive new training to determine what levels of marijuana impairment constitute safe driving versus unsafe driving.
People should assume that even a small amount of marijuana in their system is enough for officers to have a suspicion about Maryland drug DUI arrests and trial similarities to alcohol DUIs.
Proving DWI vs. DUI
The state must prove that somebody was driving while impaired or under the influence of drugs due to Maryland drug DUI arrests and trial similarities to alcohol DUIs. Proving that a person is driving under the influence of controlled dangerous substances is difficult to do, especially if the officers do not have blood or urine tests to demonstrate those levels. That is why drug recognition experts are called in.
The police are trained to look for clues that one might demonstrate when they are impaired by controlled dangerous substances as opposed to alcohol. Drug recognition experts generally do not testify in alcohol cases.
Mixing Drugs and Alcohol
Maryland Drug DUI Arrests and Trial Similarities to Alcohol DUIs for two different arguments the defense must look into when considering drug DUI arrests and trial similarities to alcohol DUIs. One is whether the field sobriety tests are valid and the second is challenging any breathalyzer tests, drug recognition expert tests, and any blood and urinalysis screening.
The mixing of drugs and alcohol makes the evaluation of the case more complicated because the prosecution also has three different ways they can try to win the case. Alcohol mixed with drugs is one of the most serious offenses a person can be charged with. However, the way a judge might interpret the punishment to be imposed is likely to be more serious.
They can try to win it on drugs, they can try to win it on alcohol, or they can try to win in it on both. It requires a great deal of preparation to develop that kind of defense based on the Maryland drug DUI arrests and trial similarities to alcohol DUIs.
Severity of Penalties
The penalties for driving under the influence in Maryland do not become more serious with respect to the statutes. They do become more serious because a judge might not be inclined to send somebody to go to jail for a first-time offense if they just had one or the other charge. When they have both, a judge might consider that to be a more serious situation and impose harsher penalties for impaired driving in Maryland.
People do not recognize that prescription medication can have one intended effect on their body and that effect could completely change when mixed with alcohol. It is important to heed warnings on the medication and not mix medications with alcohol especially when the label states that is not a good idea.
Common Legal Defenses
Drug recognition experts and the kinds of testing they do are controversial in the scientific community. Their validity of Maryland drug DUI arrests and trial similarities to alcohol DUIs is controversial as well. The defense attorney should be prepared to cross-examine an officer about these kinds of tests and show the officer where errors might be and why the tests are unreliable. Admitting to the unreliability of law enforcement tests on the record can be a successful defense strategy.