In Virginia, you may be charged with a DUI not only for driving under the influence of alcohol but also for drugs.
Virginia Code 18.2-266 provides that if any of the following impairs a driver's abilities, they're committing an offense:
- Any narcotic drug
- Drug whatsoever in nature - even a drug prescribed to you
- Combination of the drugs listed above
If you're charged with driving under the influence of drugs (DUI-D), you could face severe penalties.
At Tillotson & Martin, our Coastal Virginia lawyers have over four decades of combined experience, and we are well-versed in DUI law. In fact, our knowledge in this area is so vast and in-depth that we wrote the book on Virginia DUI Law judges, other lawyers, and prosecutors read for these types of matters. On top of that, we remain current with changes in the laws and technologies used in driving under the influence cases, which allows us to build strong defenses. We are here to answer your questions about the process for resolving your DUI-D case and are ready to provide the compassionate yet aggressive representation you need.
Can I Get a DUI-D for Driving After Taking a Prescription Medication?
Many people believe that a DUI-D is charged only to drivers who were under the influence of illegal drugs. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
Any substance, whether legal or illegal, that impairs a driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle can lead to an accusation of driving while intoxicated by drugs. Thus, if you took a prescription or even over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, you could get a DUI-D.
One of the challenging parts of a DUI-D case is that often a driver is taking a prescription or OTC medication to treat a physical or psychological problem. The substance is making them feel better, yet they get charged with driving under the influence of drugs. This may not be fair, but it happens often.
When the prosecutor is arguing the case, they will do everything they can to prove that the defendant's driving behavior was a result of the legal substance in their body, even though it was due to some manifestation of the driver's medical condition.
To combat the prosecutor's allegations and evidence, our Coastal Virginia lawyers commonly bring in expert witnesses to testify that the medication didn't cause the driving behavior. Instead, the medicine made the defendant a safer driver.
If I Took an OTC and Had a Little Alcohol, Can I Be Charged with a DUI-D?
It might be the case that you were feeling ill and took a cough suppressant or allergy medication and had a drink a while later. In this situation, you could be convicted of a DUI-D, even if your BAC was at or below the presumed sober level of .05. The prosecutor may try to prove that although your blood alcohol content was something like .04, the OTC enhanced the effects of the alcohol. Thus, they will say you were intoxicated.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI-D?
Similar to an alcohol-related driving under the influence matter, if you're convicted of a DUI-D, you could face jail time, fines, and a driver's license revocation.
- First Offense: is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail term of 1 year and/or a maximum fine of $2,500. Also, driving privileges will be revoked for 1 year.
- Second Offense: has similar punishments except that a mandatory minimum jail term and fine may be imposed, which depends on the BAC level and when the offense occurred. Additionally, driver's license suspension increases to 3 years.
The penalties continue to increase for each subsequent offense.
Understanding DUI-D and Drug Intoxication
Driving under the influence of drugs (DUI-D) is a serious offense that can result in severe legal consequences. If you have been charged with a DUI-D in Virginia, it is crucial to seek legal representation from experienced attorneys who understand the complexities of drug intoxication cases.
At Tillotson & Martin, LLC, our team of DUI with drugs attorneys have a deep understanding of Virginia's DUI laws and can provide the aggressive defense you need. We can help answer questions such as:
- Can I get a DUI-D for driving after taking a prescription medication?
- If I took an over-the-counter medication and had a little alcohol, can I be charged with a DUI-D?
- What are the penalties for a DUI-D in Virginia?
Our goal is to provide you with the legal representation you need to navigate the complexities of DUI-D and drug intoxication cases in Hampton Roads and Newport News. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your case and learn how we can defend your rights.
Get the Legal Representation You Need
At Tillotson & Martin, when you hire our Coastal Virginia DUI-D attorneys for your case, we’ll see you as the person you are not the offense you were charged with. We provide personalized attention and listen to your side of the story. Our team will leverage our resources to work toward a favorable result on your behalf.
We Wrote the Book.We were tasked with writing the book on Virginia DUI Law by Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the leading authority in legal publishing. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges often turn to this resource.
We Possess the Knowledge.Not only are our attorneys committed to attending continued education courses, they lecture and teach courses themselves. In a field as scientific and technical as DUI Defense, keeping our knowledge up to date is crucial to crafting our clients' defense strategies.
We Truly Care.Mike Tillotson & Jeff Martin go the extra mile for their clients. Our team realizes that this is your future at stake and we will employ every strategy to ensure that we are providing you with the best representation possible.
We Have the Fight to Win.With nearly 40 years of combined experience, Mike Tillotson and Jeff Martin have successfully handled thousands of DUI cases, and has tried cases across the entire state of Virginia.
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