Innocent Unless Proven Guilty
Although the use of an Alcotest (breathalyzer) makes it easy to determine that a driver is under the influence of alcohol, it is more complicated when dealing with drug-related DUIs. Drug-related DUIs involve narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drugs, all which could cause varying symptoms. On the other hand, alcohol-related DUIs can be identified by similar symptoms, regardless of the types of alcohol consumed. Also, drug-influence levels are very difficult to measure. The most common method of proving that someone has been operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs is to take a blood or urine sample. However, unlike the requirement that all drivers submit to an Alcotest if requested to do so, a driver who is suspected of being under the influence of drugs does not give implied consent to draw blood or urine. In theory, this makes it more difficult to prove “drugged driving”, although as a practical matter the police are usually able to coerce a person into providing a “consensual” urine sample. Otherwise, they can still apply to a judge for a warrant to draw blood (or urine). The state must have educated and trained professionals observe the driver’s behavior, and they must be able to testify that the use of drugs resulted in impaired driving.
Penalties for Drug-Related DUIs
The penalties for a drug-related DUI are very similar to the penalties for an alcohol-related DUI. However, the main difference is that anyone who is convicted of a first-offense, drug-related DUI will receive the same penalties as if their Alcotest read 0.10-0.14 during an alcohol-related DUI. Specifically, the penalties include:
- Loss of license for seven months to one year
- Six different fines ranging from $3,805 to $4,005:
- $300-$500 state fine
- $230 Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) fee
- $100 to the drunk-driving fund
- $100 to the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund (AERF)
- $1,000 per year surcharge for three years
- $75 to the Neighborhood Services Fund (NSF)
- A prison term of up to thirty days
- Mandatory 12-48 hours attendance at an IDRC program
Defenses against Drug Related DUIs
Due to the complications resulting from a “drugged driving” arrest, your rights will be in jeopardy. You need an experienced, professional attorney at your side to challenge the legality of your arrest and all of the circumstances surrounding your case. Fred Sisto can aid your defense by:
- Revealing the errors in the methods of the arresting officer
- Challenging the qualifications of the state representative alleging that the defendant was under the influence of drugs.
- Raising doubt with regard to whether the drugs impaired the person’s ability to drive
- Demonstrating a likelihood that a blood sample was taken without the consent of the defendant
If you are in need of an attorney for a drug-related DUI arrest, then call Fred Sisto for professional guidance and defense during this critical and complicated time in your life. For a free consultation, call (732) 898-3232 today.