Can You Be Charged With a DUI/DWI For Drugs?

There is much confusion out there surrounding DUI/DWI laws, which is due in part to the fact that drunk driving laws are set in place by state law, so what might apply in Texas or California does not necessarily apply in Virginia. And while many states do enforce DUI laws that make it a crime to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or higher, there are other situations in which a police officer can arrest for you a DUI/DWI crime in Virginia. In fact, under Virginia’s state DUI/DWI law, Virginia Code 18.2-266, it is a crime to operate a motor vehicle whenever the driver “is under the influence of alcohol,” regardless of the driver’s BAC. In addition, it is also a violation of Virginia’s DUI/DWI law to drive a car while under the influence of narcotics. Below, we provide a brief overview of when Virginia prosecutors can bring charges against a driver for being under the influence of drugs in Virginia.

Three Avenues to a Drug-Related DUI/DWI Charge

The Virginia code includes three independent grounds on which to bring charges for driving while under the influence of drugs:

  • When a driver is “under the influence of any narcotic drug or any other self-administered intoxicant or drug…to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle…”
  • When a driver is “under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug or drugs to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle…”
  • When a driver is “has a blood concentration of any of the following substances at a level that is equal to or greater than:
    • (a) 0.02 milligrams of cocaine per liter of blood
    • (b) 0.1 milligrams of methamphetamine per liter of blood
    • (c) 0.01 milligrams of phencyclidine per liter of blood
    • (d) 0.1 milligrams of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine per liter of blood

With any of the three grounds listed above, prosecutors must be able to prove that a driver is guilty of having violated the law beyond a reasonable doubt, and an experienced criminal defense attorney can fully investigate your matter to determine if any constitutional or evidence-handling errors were made in your case or if any other grounds for a reasonable defense apply.

Experienced Virginia Criminal Defense Attorneys On Your Side

If you have been arrested for DUI/DWI in Virginia, the criminal defense attorneys at Kurylo Gold & Josey, PLC in Fredericksburg, Virginia, are here to help. We will fully investigate all potential defenses and do whatever it takes to protect your reputation and your future. Contact us today to schedule a consultation regarding your situation.

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Bennett Brasfield

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