Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

One of the more harmful aspects of using alcohol and drugs is that they can impair your judgment.  You may, for example, feel that you are capable of operating a motor vehicle even when you’re not, and if you’re lucky, this will only result in being pulled over and charged with driving under the influence, or DUI.

Unfortunately, this can lead to severe consequences, which is why it’s so important to partner with a qualified attorney to fight DUI charges.  The experts at Curtis Law Firm are prepared to offer the information, advice, and legal representation you need to fight a DUI charge.

What is a DUI?

Statutes in the state of Colorado define Driving Under the Influence, or DUI, as “driving a motor vehicle or vehicle when a person has consumed alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs, that affects the person to a degree that the person is substantially incapable, either mentally or physically, or both mentally and physically, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle”.

It’s a common misconception that DUIs pertain to driving while under the influence of alcohol alone, but this is not the case.  DUIs may pertain to the use of illicit drugs, legal drugs like marijuana, and even prescription drugs if they impair your ability to drive and you get behind the wheel anyway.  You could also be charged with the lesser offense of Driving While Ability Impaired, or DWAI, even if you are not impaired enough to warrant a DUI charge.

What are the Different Types of DUI?

DUIs involving drugs are categorized as Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) and they fall into three categories:

  • DUID – Prescription Medications
  • DUID – Marijuana
  • DUID – Illegal Drugs

Many police departments and individual officers participate in Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) Programs to learn to effectively classify DUID cases for the purposes of proving impairment in the court setting.

What is the DEC Program?

The DEC Program is designed to train law enforcement officers to utilize a 12-step evaluation process to determine if a person is impaired due to drugs, and if so, what those drugs might be. Officers that complete this training become Drug Recognition Evaluators/Experts, or DREs. The DEC Program was developed largely because Standard Field Sobriety Tests, while apt at identifying impairment, are not designed to pinpoint the drugs a driver may have taken.

Why You Need Legal Help

Whether prescription medications, legal drugs, or illegal drugs contributed to your DUID charges, the consequences for conviction can be severe. They may include:

  • Required substance abuse classes and therapy
  • 24-120 hours of community service
  • Fines up to $1,500Probation (supervised or unsupervised)
  • Jail time of up to 1 year, plus another year of jail suspended

A qualified lawyer can help you to avoid the worst penalties, appeal for lesser charges, or fight for acquittal on DUID charges. If you have been charged with DUID, contact the professionals at Curtis Law Firm today at 303-625-6894 for legal advice and representation.

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