Drug DUI Tests in Rockville
There is no chemical test for drug impairment that an officer can conduct or use by the roadside, either in Rockville or anywhere else in Maryland. However, officers will employ urinalysis screening and blood screening once the person is placed under arrest to make a determination about the toxicity level in their system. These tests can give us results in three days or it can take several months. It really depends on the speed of the lab conducting the investigation of blood alcohol or urine concentrations.
These labs can pick up substances that are not illegal. Remember, driving under the influence of a drug does not mean the drug has to be illegal. You may be driving under the influence of a medication that is legal but still impairs your ability to drive or your general coordination. Similarly, alcohol itself is not illegal either, but driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal. All that matters is how a substance impairs someone’s ability to drive. If you would like to learn more about DUI drug testing in Rockville, contact a Rockville drug DUI lawyer at your earliest convenience.
Accuracy of Drug Tests
The types of drugs most commonly involved in DUI cases are prescription medications, which many people have no idea can cause impairment to driving, and recreational drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. Drug tests are considered very accurate by the court system. Blood or urinalysis tests are sent to a lab and come back with a very fancy report indicating all of the different things being screened and what the results were. It is important for a Rockville drug DUI defense attorney to figure out whether there was any contamination in the way the samples were collected, if the results were impacted by the way the samples were collected, and whether or not proper protocols and procedures for testing were followed by the lab.
During trial, the state will call expert witnesses to testify as to whether all the appropriate protocols were followed. If proper protocols were not followed or the evidence changed, the results should be excluded from the trial. Usually manuals used to do toxicity screening tests are available to the defense to evaluate. A Rockville drug DUI lawyer can evaluate exactly which methodologies were used for screening. We can hire our own experts to conduct the screening, or at least use the manual to cross examine the state’s experts.
Refusing Drug Tests in Rockville Drug DUI Cases
There is a repercussion to refusing a chemical test, whether it is a breathalyzer test, urine test, or a blood test. A finder of fact at trial can take an instruction that there is a negative inference to be drawn when somebody refuses to take a test for toxicity in their system.
If an individual decided that they were going to refuse a blood test the court could deem that as an admission, because the belief is that the reason they refused was because they were going to fail or something negative to their case would come of it. However, arguments can be made to rebut that presumption. For instance, if somebody had a medical issue that prevented them from giving a blood sample, that could be a valid basis for them to refuse the blood test. Similarly, if somebody has a medical issue which prevents them from giving urine for a urinalysis screening, there could be a basis to argue in court that negative inferences for refusal should not be drawn. It is just a matter of defense strategy, which you and a Rockville drug DUI lawyer can help you create.