Montgomery County Drug DUI Cases
Alcohol-related DUI cases and drug-related DUI cases are quite similar in their processes, but the evidence required to secure a conviction may be significantly different. While proving alcohol intoxication may be as simple as administering a breathalyzer test, proving drug intoxication may be significantly harder.
An experienced attorney could work to question the evidence presented in Montgomery County drug DUI cases and mitigate a defendant’s potential penalties.
Alcohol DUI vs. Drug DUI
For an alcohol-related DUI, an officer often uses clues associated with field sobriety tests, basic interview questions to an individual, and observations based on their training, knowledge, and experience to draw a conclusion about whether a person is under the influence of alcohol. The process is similar for a drug-related case in which someone is suspected of being under the influence or impaired by a controlled dangerous substance when they are behind the wheel of a car.
While an officer might not notice factors like an odor of alcohol during a drug DUI stop, they could observe slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and other indicators. Law enforcement may even see paraphernalia associated with drug use that suggests that a person might be impaired or under the influence. The officer may conduct field sobriety tests and may also use a drug recognition expert to establish probable cause for an arrest.
Trial Process After a Drug DUI Arrest
The actual trial process is not significantly different between a drug DUI and an alcohol DUI, with the exception that in a drug-related DUI, a drug recognition expert may be called to testify about the controlled dangerous substance that the person may have been under the influence of at the time they were behind the wheel of a car.
When the expert opinion is introduced in court, the drug recognition expert’s expertise can be tested by the defense attorney using cross-examination questions, challenges to the person’s training and experience, or the basis for their expertise. The defense attorney may also call their own expert witness to refute the conclusions drawn by the government’s expert witness.
Typical Evidence in a Drug DUI Case
Prosecutors usually establish guilt in a DUI case through blood alcohol scores, the odor of alcohol, and an admission to drinking. Such evidence often helps juries arrive at a logical conclusion about the defendant’s level of impairment or intoxication and whether it was in the confines of the legal limits for alcohol.
Drugs cannot be detected by way of a breathalyzer test in any sufficient manner to constitute proof in court. Unless a urinalysis or blood test is conducted, the proof in a drug DUI case is usually more subjective and based on expert opinion rather than on a numeric score.
When it comes to drug-related issues, officers try to put together evidence based on clues from their interaction with the person, the results of a standardized field sobriety test, or an evaluation done by a drug recognition expert to prove the charges. Proving that somebody was under the influence or impaired by drugs is usually more difficult than proving someone is under the influence of alcohol.
Common Defenses in Montgomery County Drug DUI Cases
The most common defense strategy to win a drug DUI case is to bring constitutional issues into the defense. A lawyer may insist, for example, that the police officer has no grounds to conduct a certain search or stop a vehicle. Challenging whether a driver displayed clues of impairment during the course of field sobriety tests or drug recognition expert testing is another strategy that the defense might employ to win a drug DUI case.
If you have been charged with a drug DUI case in Montgomery County, do not try to handle the trial process on your own. Speak with an experienced drug DUI attorney about how they could help build the best possible defense.