Driving under the influence of drugs is known as a DUID. A drugged driving incident can have far-reaching civil and criminal implications. A DUID is similar to a DUI in that the person in control of the vehicle has shown an impaired ability to drive. However, a DUID means the source of impairment was not alcohol but another drug. This could be marijuana, any illicit drug, or legally prescribed drugs.
Illegal drugs are often considered a culprit in these cases. However sometimes impairment occurs as a result of a bad reaction or combination of legally prescribed drugs. This is why doctors recommend caution with some prescriptions by discouraging driving and why you should be very familiar with the effects of the drugs you are prescribed, especially when combined with alcohol or other substances.
Since breathalyzer tests are designed to measure alcohol, they would only be used to eliminate alcohol as a factor in the arrest. It is more likely in a drugged driving case that the police will request a blood test to get a more accurate panel of which drugs are responsible for the impairment or to simply determine the presence of drug metabolites. In some states, any sign of impairment coupled with a positive test for drugs will be considered a DUID. In other cases there are zero tolerance laws where any drugs in the system at any amount will be considered a criminal liability, even if you can make a case that you were not driving badly. Some states fall in between and actually have per se amounts for substances. A per se amount means any amount you test over that set limit, just like alcohol, is considered impairment regardless of whether your driving was bad. These per se rules are rare for drugs, but a few states do have them for marijuana. In most instances the bad driving is considered along with the presence of drugs in the bloodstream.
Just like a DUI, liability may be a factor in a DUID case if there is an accident of some sort. In addition to any compensation that your insurance pays, you may be responsible for punitive damages. This is in addition to compensation for others’ injuries, which may include hospital bills and time they lose from work as well as other expenses, property damage, or even wrongful death liability.
Any way you look at it, DUID is as serious a matter as DUI with potentially grave consequences that are both criminal and civil. If you have a case involving drugged driving, call Denver’s trusted criminal law attorneys.
Thanks to our friends at Hebets & McCallin for their insight into drugged driving repercussions.