The arrest and trial for a drug DUI generally follow a similar process as a drinking and driving case would. The only difference being that in a drug DUI case, a breathalyzer test is usually not going to be a crucial part, but a blood or urine test could be.
Furthermore, these charges differ in the way the prosecution gathers evidence and determines what is important when it comes to bringing the case. If you would like to learn more about how your drug DUI case could proceed, consider speaking with a knowledgeable Charleston lawyer.
Similarities and Differences Between Alcohol and Drug DUI Cases
The arrests and criminal trials for drug and alcohol DUIs are not very different, besides the types of evidence typically being offered by the prosecution. This slight variation between the two stems from the fact that breathalyzer tests commonly used for checking blood alcohol levels cannot pick up the presence of drugs in a person’s system.
The trend towards legalizing marijuana in other parts of the country has caused law enforcement to reassess which characteristics may be indicative of impairment. However, because marijuana is still not legal in South Carolina, law enforcement officers prosecuting driving under the influence of drugs cases in Charleston are less likely to look for signs of marijuana use as frequently as they might in other jurisdictions where it is legal.
How Drug DUI Cases Are Prosecuted
In both alcohol and drug DUI cases in Charleston, the prosecution is looking to determine whether the defendant was impaired to a point where they were unable to operate a motor vehicle safely. Whether someone is impaired by drugs or alcohol, they will most likely be prosecuted under the same specific statute in South Carolina.
However, a person is under the influence of drugs cannot be charged with driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration if the test results of the breathalyzer do not support the claim of any alcohol being in their system. In this case, the prosecution would have to prove there was some substance in the individual’s blood or urine that caused impaired driving.
Often, the best way to defend against DUI drug cases is to contest the quantity of the drug in someone’s system and provide doubt that their level of influence would cause impairment to the point of them being unable to operate a vehicle. Legal advisors typically do this by hiring an expert toxicologist who could explain how the quantity of a drug in someone’s system may not have caused impairment to that point.
Speak to a Skilled Attorney About Drug DUI Cases in Charleston
Although they share many similarities, DUI cases based on drug consumption could be just as tricky to manage as the charges for driving under the influence of alcohol, depending on what evidence the prosecution has access to and the degree to which the defendant cooperated with law enforcement officers at the time of their arrest.
Regardless of the specific circumstances, representation from an experienced DUI attorney is often crucial to achieving a successful outcome. Do not leave the result of your criminal case up to chance. Call today to set up a consultation with a Charleston drug DUI lawyer to discuss the legal options of your case available to you.