DUID Cases in Colorado
In Colorado, it is not only illegal to drive while under the influence of, or while one’s ability is impaired by, alcohol. It is also illegal to drive while under the influence of, or while one’s ability is impaired by, drugs. Contrary to what many may assume, there is no separate and distinct offense for DUI or DWAI and drugs. Rather, when an individual is suspected consuming drugs to the point of impairment and then driving, he or she is charged under the same statutes that govern alcohol. Thus, a person may face either a DUI or DWAI conviction if charged with driving after consuming drugs.
It is not only the consumption of illegal drugs that can lead to one being charged with DUI or DWAI. Even prescription drugs, taken in accordance with a doctor’s instructions, may lead to charges if an individual drives after taking them. The legal standard necessary for a prosecutor to gain a conviction for DUI, drugs, is that the individual’s consumption of drugs caused him or her to become “substantially incapable” of safely operating a motor vehicle. The corresponding standard necessary for DWAI is that the consumption of drugs rendered the driver “impaired to the slightest degree” so that the he or she was “less capable than they ordinarily would have been” to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Practically speaking, when a police officer suspects an individual of operating while at least impaired by any controlled substance, he or she will require the driver to submit to a chemical test of the driver’s blood. Once the sample is tested, and depending upon the levels of substances in the individual’s system, he or she may be in danger of a conviction to DUI or DWAI. A conviction for DUI or DWAI can lead to jail, monitored sobriety, substance abuse classes, community service, probation, and loss of driver’s license. As such, the stakes are high when charged with a DUI or DWAI involving drugs.
DUIs and DWAIs involving drugs can often become a scientific battle, involving experts in toxicology on both sides of the case. Because drugs affect each person differently, these cases can hinge upon which side is better able to convincingly persuade a jury regarding the specific defendant’s tolerance for certain drugs, the effect such drugs can have, and how the drugs in the accused’s system at the time of driving may or may not have affected the him or her.
Denver DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez has experience with DUIs and DWAIs at every stage of such a criminal prosecution. Mr. Martinez has taken such cases to trial, and he has also successfully litigated them during pretrial stages. Throughout his career, Mr. Martinez has secured dismissals and mitigated outcomes for numerous pleased clients charged with DUI or DWAI.
If you are charged with DUI or DWAI, drugs, contact skilled Denver DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez today to discuss your case.