Fight Your Drug-Related DUI Charges
My name is Attorney Matthew Knauss, and I have over a decade of experience, defending against DUI charges. In Washington, DUI charges can be levied against someone for driving under the influence of any drug, even if it was prescribed by your doctor. These cases are sometimes referred to as DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) charges.
Drug-related DUI charges are heavily reliant on an officer’s assessment of the situation rather than hard evidence. Officers will assess your driving and your behavior and use that as probable cause, even without any supporting evidence. Some are certified as “Drug Recognition Experts,” but the tools they use are still highly subjective.
Even blood tests are open to interpretation. For example, if marijuana is found in your system, that does not mean you were driving impaired. Marijuana stays present in the bloodstream for weeks after use. If traces were found in your blood, that is not hard evidence that you were high at the moment of arrest. There are also many drugs that do not show up in blood tests, yet you could still be accused of driving under the influence of them.
DUID charges are not objective. You need an experienced fighter in your corner so you don’t get wrongfully convicted. Call today at (425) 287-5199.
Prescription Drug DUI Charges
People can be charged with a DUI even when the drug itself is legal. You could have an authorized prescription and still be arrested. Some drugs come with warnings against operating a car, which officers could use against you in a DUI case. Sometimes, however, you could have a bad reaction to a new prescription, one that normally does not impair driving. Even in that situation, officers can use your prescriptions as grounds for arrest. If an officer believes you were under the influence of something, they can link virtually anything to a DUID charge, from caffeine to kombucha.
Penalties for a drug DUI are steep. At the bare minimum, judges will sentence first-time offenders to at least a day in jail and a fine of at least $350. The accused must also pay for their own assessments and court fees, brining that total closer to $1,000. At the highest extreme, you could be jailed for one year and forced to pay fines of up to $5,000.
If you’re convicted, the Department of Licensing will suspend your license a minimum of 90 days and require an ignition interlock device placed on your car for at least one year. This would require you to blow into a device that measures the alcohol content of your breath, while at the same time taking a picture of you with a webcam mounted to your windshield. If the machine clears you, you can turn the key and start the car. This is especially demeaning if you were charged with a DUID. Your allegations are not related to alcohol, but now limiting alcohol consumption is part of your sentence.
You will also be required to pay for high-risk insurance for at least three years. This addition can raise your insurance rates 47%. In Washington, high risk insurance premiums average $1,812 per year.
Call for Help Today
We can assess your situation and potentially find holes in the prosecution’s case. Remember that the government has the burden to prove you were impaired “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In a drug DUI, there are many ways to locate uncertainty and inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case.
In a DUID case, there is often thin evidence. Prosecutors use officer accounts, which can be unreliable. Even when blood tests show trace amounts of narcotics, those can be challenged. Sometimes everyday foods appear as a drug in the system.
Challenging the evidence leads to an argument that you were not under the influence while you were driving. Drug tests can show results of a substance that was consumed days ago. Even with this drug in your system, you may not have been under the influence at the time of your arrest.
We can also investigate the arrest itself. Police often employ sly tactics to trick you into a confession. We can use this against the prosecution’s case. The stop itself can also be challenged. Authorities may stop your car only for a primary offense. Simple suspicions are not a valid reason to pull someone over. If the police went outside of proper procedure, we can argue this before a judge.
Let me help defend you against an unfair DUID charge. For a free consultation, fill out a contact form here, or call (425) 287-5199.