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Stamford Marijuana & Prescription Drug DUI Charges

Any individual who has been charged with a marijuana or prescription drug DUID charge should ensure that they are properly represented. Such a charge can carry burdening penalties, and can often be overwhelming for any individual involved. These sorts of consequences can deeply impact a person's future driving abilities, and are associated with hefty fines and the possibility of incarceration. If you are facing such a charge, it is pertinent that you contact a Stamford DUID lawyer immediately. The right attorney can build a defense to help lessen or dismiss any penalties you may be up against.

Defining a Marijuana DUID Charge

A DUI charge is not just brought about in instances involving alcohol. It includes marijuana, recreational drugs, and even legally prescribed drugs. While marijuana was decriminalized in Connecticut, that does not mean an individual is allowed to drive while using marijuana. Marijuana can stay in an individual's system for at least 30 days, slowly diminishing until the THC level becomes zero. Many times within that period, if an individual gives a urine or blood sample, THC will show up. Before an individual agrees to a blood or urine test, they should consult with an experienced DUID lawyer.

Marijuana DUID Penalties

A marijuana DUID arrest is charged under the same statute as an alcohol DUI, with very similar penalties. However, there is no definitive way that law enforcement can determine whether or not an individual is driving while on marijuana unless they have a blood or urine test saying so. 

Further, an individual does not want to make any admission that may find them wrongfully guilty. In these circumstances, it is important that an individual consult with a lawyer before making any statements to law enforcement.

Effects of Prescription Drugs

Even though a doctor may have prescribed prescription drugs to an individual, they must know that they are not allowed to drive while using those drugs if they impair their ability to drive. Probable cause to arrest someone involves a police officer's observation of an individual's driving, and the individual's ability to successfully complete the standardized field sobriety tests. Those tests include the walk and turn test, the one-legged stand, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test. Prescription drugs can affect an individual's ability to pass all of those tests.

Prescribed narcotics like Ambien, sleeping pills, Oxycodone, or even prescribed cough syrup can get an individual arrested for a DUID. Because of this, it is very important that when an individual is pulled over, they should not offer any information to the police. If the police ask, the individual is not allowed to lie to them, but should not admit to being on any prescription drugs.

Potential Penalties

The penalties for a prescription drug DUI is the same as an alcohol DUI. The charge is classified under the same statute, and an individual is entitled to the same diversionary programs such as the Alcohol Education Program. It is always a good idea for an individual to provide their attorney with prescription medical information when those drugs are involved, because it can greatly help their defense, especially when an individual is facing mandatory jail time on a second or third offense.

Sometimes, the court grants leniency to a person who is on prescription drugs and may have just misjudged or underestimated the impact that prescription drugs would have on them. The court and the prosecutors may look on these individuals a little more leniently than someone who is taking marijuana, illegal drugs, or drinking and driving.

Importance of an Independent Sample

Immediately after a DUID arrest or a DUID traffic stop, a Stamford marijuana and prescription drug DUID lawyer will have their clients do an independent drug and alcohol test, especially if they refused the test without an attorney's advice. The purpose is to show the prosecutors and courts that the individual was not on any illegal drugs or alcohol at the time of the traffic stop. Those tests must be done very quickly.

If an individual refused the test and wants to show the courts that they were not intoxicated, impaired, or were drunk driving, they should get an independent blood and urine test. They should do that under the watch and supervision of a seasoned Stamford lawyer.