Columbia DUI Drug Testing

There are not very many differences between drug DUIs and alcohol DUIs in Columbia. In both cases, one can expect the officer to testify as to why the driver was stopped, explain which tests were carried out, and the evidence of impairment that the officer observed. There is a key difference in the type of chemical test given. For Columbia DUI drug testing, blood sample results or urine tests may be used. Breathalyzers are used in alcohol DUI cases.

It can be difficult to measure to what level a driver is under the influence of drugs at the time of the stop. With this in mind, it is critical those accused of driving while under the influence of drugs consult with a dedicated DUI drug lawyer as soon as possible.

Law enforcement and Testing

Drug recognition experts have special training to look for indicators of impairment that are related to drugs, and use a similar number of Columbia DUI drug testing options to find impairment. There are some additional tests that are not the standard sobriety tests. These other tests are believed to be more effective and more valid in determining whether someone’s under the influence of drugs. Those are generally conducted through field sobriety tests.

When a person has an impairment as a result of a drug or alcohol interaction and it was unforeseeable, the person can make an involuntary intoxication defense. If it is foreseeable and reasonable that the person should have known it was possible to have that interaction, they do not have a valid involuntary intoxication defense.

How do Authorities Test for the Presence of Drugs?

Authorities using Columbia DUI drug testing look for the presence of drugs through a urine test and possibly a blood test. A drug recognition expert may believe there are indicators of impairment related to drugs, not alcohol. There may be a strong odor of marijuana or the presence of other drugs found in the car or a home during a search.

A person could blow into the breath test machine and have a zero blood alcohol content or zero BAC. However, if the person acts as if they are intoxicated and there is evidence to show that the behavior is related to drugs, the police officer requests a urine test.

Refusing the Test

When a person refuses the urine test, it is treated the same as refusing the breathalyzer test and the person is at risk of losing their license. Their license could be suspended for six months. The suspension can be challenged at the Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings within 30 days.

Benefits of an Attorney

An experienced Columbia drug DUI lawyer can request an independent toxicology when a person knows there are no drugs in their system. The attorney asks for affirmative assistance like getting the blood test to prove that the person is clean and does not have drugs in their system. The independent toxicologist can review the urinalysis to determine whether it was done properly and is valid, and whether it can be admissible against the person at trial.

As in all Columbia DUI drug testing cases, the defense lawyer looks at the constitutional rights and whether they were violated. They determine whether any legal defenses are built into the case that should be presented. Specifically, the lawyer determines whether the police complied with the video recording statute, whether those strict requirements were met, and whether any defenses can be raised. If they do not comply substantially with the statute, the person can move to dismiss the charge.