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DUI Drug Enforcement in Salisbury

DUI charges are fairly common throughout Maryland and the rest of the United States, Salisbury is no exception. However, drug DUI charges are a more specific niche of DUI charge that may not be as common as alcohol-related DUI charges. Below, a Salisbury DUI Drug lawyer discusses how law enforcement officials treat drug DUI charges and how common they appear in the state of Maryland.

How Common Are Drug DUI Charges in Maryland

Drug DUI charges are not very common in Maryland. It is much more routine to see a driving under the influence of alcohol case than it is to see a driving under the influence of drugs case. With that said, however, DUIDs do occur, and if an individual is charged there is a likelihood of conviction. Typically when an officer realizes that he is dealing with a driver under the influence of drugs versus alcohol, he will change his method of investigation to gather evidence that demonstrates drug use. Once his investigation is complete and drug use has been confirmed, there is the possibility that the person could be convicted.

Circumstances That May Lead to Drug DUI Charge in Maryland

An individual could be charged with driving under the influence of drugs when a police officer stops the vehicle based on suspicion of the driver being under the influence of drugs, or in response to any traffic violations that the officer has observed.

The police officer will make observations about the driver, and if he sees signs of some impairment but is not smelling alcohol, he might suspect the influence of drugs. The officer will want to confirm that suspicion by asking the driver to take what’s called a “preliminary breath test.”

For this test, the officer uses a small handheld device. The driver breathes into that device and the officer can quickly determine if the result is a 0.0 or lower reading, ruling out the influence of alcohol. The officer will then shift his investigation and start looking for other signs of impairment or influence of drugs instead of alcohol.

The officer may ask the defendant if he has taken anything. If the driver admits to having ingested drugs, that admittance could be used as evidence against the driver.

Priority of Drug DUI Charges for Maryland Law Enforcement

Police in Maryland take drug DUI cases very seriously. They will investigate DUI cases very intently and make a charge if necessary. In fact, many county police agencies have even trained their officers to be drug recognition experts.

For an officer to be trained as a drug recognition expert, their department must send him to a specific training program, which takes a couple of weeks to complete. Because of the time and financial commitment the police departments have made, they will certainly utilize those officers in DUI cases.

If a police suspects that someone is driving under the influence of drugs during a traffic stop, the police department will bring one of their drug recognition experts to conduct an examination on the driver. The drug recognition expert will help to determine whether the individual is driving under the influence of drugs, and whether that drug was a prescribed medicine or if it was a controlled dangerous substance.

Drugs Most Commonly Implicated in DUI Cases

The most common are drugs are stimulants and depressants. Occasionally, there are cases involving some sort of hallucinogen, but that does not happen frequently in Maryland. In addition, the consumption of drugs like ecstasy and Molly  has been increasing recently.

An individual who has ingested a stimulant will have a revved up system– a high pulse rate and elevated blood pressure. An individual who has ingested a depressant will have a slowed down system. They will have a slower pulse rate and their blood pressure will be going to be down. These drugs not only take a physical toll, but also impact people’s ability to drive a car safely.

How An Attorney Can Help

If the person contacts an attorney quickly, such as when they are still being investigated, then an attorney could advise them not to make any statements. An attorney could agree to meet them, so that any interview that took place with the police would be in the presence of the attorney who could help provide guidance to the driver. Attorneys know what the charges are; they understand what the elements of the charges are, and they understand what sort of evidence the State is required to provide to prove a defendant guilty beyond the reasonable doubt. It’s that sort of training and experience that a driver needs.

They need to have somebody who understands what the drug recognition expert report should look like and be able to detect if there were any mistakes or inconsistencies in that report. The attorney would be able to determine if there are any experts that can be utilized by the defense to defend against the toxicology report or the drug recognition expert report. There are many different things that an attorney can do for someone who is facing the charge like that.