Under Colorado law, it is illegal to drive while impaired by any substance. The law doesn’t care if that substance is illegal or not. If you’re driving under the influence of drugs that a doctor has given you a prescription for, and those drugs compromise your ability to drive, you will still be charged with DUID (driving under the influence of drugs).
A conviction for DUID carries with it the same penalties as driving under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, or heroin. If the drug is illegal, you can still, of course, be charged with the unlawful possession of an illegal narcotic. But the statutes that govern impaired driving all carry the same basic penalties.
There is No Legal Limit for Drugs in Your System
Unlike marijuana and alcohol, there is no legal limit that allows you to operate a motor vehicle. If you’re tested for drugs and your tox screen comes back positive, you can be charged with DUID under the law.
On the other hand, there may be a number of other mitigating circumstances that can help you in a DUID case that wouldn’t make sense in a DUI case involving marijuana and alcohol.
The Bad News about DUID-Related Accidents
If you are in an accident in which one or more parties are severely injured, and the police demand a blood sample finding opioids in your bloodstream, you can be on the hook for vehicular assault.
Vehicular assault carries with it much stiffer penalties. The prosecution will pursue vehicular assault in cases where someone suffers serious bodily injury as the result of reckless driving. Reckless driving can include when an individual drives under the influence of medications that they are lawfully prescribed.
Defending Yourself against DUID in Colorado
Defending against DUID cases is similar to defending against alcohol, marijuana, or illegal drug-related impairment. However, there are a few extra ways to defend yourself in a case like this. A judge can weight mitigating circumstances more heavily.
Depending on the kinds of drugs that you have taken, the prosecutor will need to prove that these drugs impacted your driving in a manner in which the drugs themselves caused the recklessness. Secondly, there may not be any evidence concerning how much inebriation a particular drug produces.
For instance, an individual may be able to take opioid-based pain medication for an ongoing pain problem and not show any signs of inebriation. Another individual takes the same amount of the same drug, and that person can no longer operate a motor vehicle. This may have something to do with the length of time the individual has been on the drug.
Here, your defense attorney will cast doubt on the science behind determining the level of inebriation caused by the drug and offer other explanations for an accident or what the police are saying is reckless driving.
In other words, having a good defense attorney can help you reduce your sentence significantly.
Contact Us Today for Help
The criminal defense attorneys at the office of Miller Leonard, PC have the experience you need to defend yourself against very serious charges. Give us a call at (720) 613-8783 or contact us online, and we can begin preparing your case right away.