Building a Colorado Front Range Drug DUI Defense

Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol (DUI) is illegal in Colorado. Individuals could face serious consequences if they are convicted. To avoid the penalties of a conviction, individuals should reach out to a skilled DUI attorney. Jenn and Justie at Nicol Gersch Law could review the facts of the case and begin building a Colorado Front Range drug DUI defense.

Drug and Alcohol Impairment

If a driver’s impairment is due to a combination of drugs and alcohol, usually it is within the discretion of the officer to determine what caused the impairment. If the officer determines that it was more alcohol than drugs, they may ask the person if they want to do a blood or a breath test. Individuals are not required to take a breathalyzer or blood test. If law enforcement determines the drug impairment is more than the alcohol impairment, then they may tell the person their only option is to do a blood test because drugs cannot show up in a breath test.

A breath test can only be tested by their breath for alcohol. Which test should be taken will depend on how that person is acting and whether the officer determines that that person is more under the impairment of drugs or alcohol.

How Do Authorities Test For The Presence of Drugs?

How Fort Collins authorities react to a person driving under the influence is going to be based on facts. For a drug, if a person is suspected to be under the influence of drugs, a drug recognition expert (DRE) will do a specific evaluation to determine whether or not that person is under the influence of drugs.

The officer observation will be used when the prosecution is building their DUI case or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) case. An officer will observe the following:

  • How did they act when the officer made contact with them?
  • Were their eyes drooping?
  • Are they slurring their words?
  • Are they acting weird?

Blood Test

A blood test is the only method to test for the presence of drugs. If the person does not really specify what they are under the influence of, the officer will order a basic blood test. If the drug that they took is not on that panel, then it may not show up in their system, which would be a great defense for the DUI attorney.

Refusal of Tests

If a person consents to a blood test and the test shows that they are positive for drugs, initially they are not going to lose their license at the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV). The State is really looking at the facts of the case.  If the person refuses to test, regardless of whether or not they are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two, the DMV will eventually take their license.

Involuntary Intoxication As A Defense

When building a Colorado Front Range drug DUI defense, a knowledgeable attorney will determine whether involuntary intoxication could be used as a defense, although it is not used very often. The involuntary intoxication defense could be used in cases involving date rape drugs as well as instances where an individual ate a brownie and did not know at that time there was something in it.

In order to assert this defense, there has to be additional factors attached to the involuntary intoxication. It depends on an individual’s specific situation and the facts of their case and how the defense attorney would be able to intertwine involuntary intoxication.

Proving Voluntary Intoxication

Voluntary intoxication means an individual ingested a drug but did not know what it would do. Taking a drug is a voluntary act. Therefore, they intoxicated themselves voluntarily, and that would not be a defense to driving under the influence.

Driving under the influence is a strict liability crime, and so, voluntary intoxication is only a defense to specific intent crimes. If an individual states that they took a drug and did not know it would affect them, the ingestion of the drug in is enough to overcome the burden that the prosecution has to prove. They took the drug and therefore, they are strictly liable for getting into the car and driving.

How a DUI Attorney Could Help

It is important to contact a DUI attorney when facing drug or alcohol DUI charges because they do not know enough about the law and that particular court and how it works. They need to have an attorney who is experienced with all of these factors, can look at all the facts of the case and prepare a defense strategy.

Individuals should not go through the court process by themselves. Call Justie and Jenn at Nicol Gersch Law today to begin building a Colorado Front Range drug DUI defense.