Group Picture of The Law Offices of Mark Sherman, LLC

Stamford DUI Drug Arrest Process

Stamford law enforcement officers take DUIs and illegal drug abuse very seriously. When those two crimes are combined, the DUIs that result are the kind that the police officers want to get off the road and protect the public from as quickly as possible.

If you have been charged with a drug crime and are currently going through the Stamford DUI drug arrest process, it is imperative to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable DUID lawyer in Stamford can mount a defense to help lessen or dismiss any potential consequences associated with your charge.

Alcohol DUI vs. Drug DUI

There is not much of a difference between an alcohol related DUI and a DUI that results from drug use. The procedures are very similar, and the arrest process associated with a Stamford DUI drug charge is similar as well. Some officers may see driving under the influence of drugs as a little more serious because drugs are illegal.

The prosecution may take the drugs more seriously, especially if they suspect that there are illegal drugs in the person’s car. This could lead to a search of the car. If illegal drugs were found, it may just compound the problem for the individual charged.

Looking for Evidence

The first thing an officer will do after pulling an individual over is ask the driver for some sort of document, like any license or registration. While the person is retrieving those documents, the officer will look around the car for anything in plain view such as a pipe, a bag of illegal drugs, or something similar.

From there, the officer will attempt to see if they smell anything or notice any telltale signs of drugs, such as bloodshot eyes. Such signs could lead to an officer to begin the Stamford DUI drug arrest process upon the individual they have pulled over.

Field Sobriety Tests

There are typically three field sobriety tests an officer will administer during the Stamford DUI drug arrest process. First is the horizontal gaze nystagmus test in which the police officer moves a pen back and forth and watches the person’s eyes to check for jerkiness at certain points of the movement.

There is also the one leg stand test, which is when a person stands on one leg, points their toe, and counts to 30 while the police officer observes them.

Finally, there is the walk and turn test, where a police officer asks a person to walk and turn on an imaginary line, then keeps track of how many times they have stepped on and off the line and lose their balance.

Regarding drugs, there is also the lack of convergence test, which is similar to the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, where the police officer moves the pen about in circles around the person's head and watches their eyes to see if they are tracking or if they converge in the middle.

Further, there is the Romberg balance test, where a person closes their eyes, tilts their head back, and counts to 30. Based on how fast or slow they get to 30, and if there are tremors in the eyes and the legs as it is happening, that can indicate the presence of drugs.

After administering these tests, depending on the person’s performance, the officer may administer the Stamford DUI drug arrest process.

Marijuana-Related Drug Cases

Possession of marijuana, below half an ounce, is an infraction in Connecticut and in Stamford.

It is not a misdemeanor, so if marijuana is involved with a DUI, then it is all the same, but the possession of less than a half-ounce that goes along with that is an infraction and would not be a misdemeanor.

Severity of the Charge

The attitude toward marijuana is slowly starting to soften as the younger generation gets older and takes beliefs or positions in politics on marijuana. It is slowly on the track to become legal, at least for medical purposes, for a wide variety of people.

Marijuana is still illegal to use it while a person is driving and, in that sense, it is taken seriously. An individual may be arrested for a drug DUI in Stamford if found to be driving while using marijuana. However, it is slowly becoming more accepted for general use in the public eye.