Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Lawyer in Northern Virginia


Driving under the influence (DUI/DWI), covered by Virginia code 18.2-266, is a serious criminal offense in Virginia. The most common form of DUI/DWI is for intoxication caused by alcohol, but it is also a crime to drive while under the influence of drugs (DUID). A person who commits a DUID can face the possibility of 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine and a 12 month loss of license for a first offense. That is in addition to the penalties for possessing the drugs which may result from possessing even trace amounts of controlled drugs.

Have you been charged with a DUID? Don’t take the charge lightly. Build a strong legal defense with an experienced DUID attorney. The team at J. Madison PLC has years of experience trying DUID cases. Our attorneys will arm you with an expert legal defense that will work to protect your best interests in court.

What Constitutes a DUID?

Virginia code 18.2-266 declares that any person who drives while under the influence of alcohol or a narcotic is guilty of a DUI. When drugs are involved, the charge is usually referred to as a DUID. The blood concentration limits depend on the type of drug(s) involved. A person is considered intoxicated if they have at least 0.02 milligrams of cocaine, 0.1 milligrams of methamphetamine, 0.01 milligrams of phencyclidine (PCP), or 0.1 milligrams of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy) per liter of blood.

There are a variety of signs that make a police officer suspect a driver may be intoxicated. An intoxicated driver may swerve, drift across lane lines, drive well under the speed limit, make jerky stops, follow other cars too closely, and more. An officer will likely pull over a driver exhibiting these signs and conduct a field sobriety test to determine if the driver is impaired.

DUID Penalties

The penalties for a DUID usually depend on whether this is the first offense for the driver, or if they have been previously convicted. The courts can be more lenient for first-time offenders and harsher for repeat offenders, but in any case, a DUID can have serious consequences.

A DUID first offense is a class 1 misdemeanor and has a maximum jail sentence of 12 months, up to $2,500 fine, and a driver’s license suspension for 12 months. Second-time offenders will also be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor with a minimum jail sentence of 10 days and a maximum of 12 months, up to $2,500 fine, and 36-month license suspension. The penalties turn to felonies on third subsequent convictions.

If the drug involved is an illegal substance, there may be additional charges and the penalties may be higher. Virginia drug laws are described in Virginia code Title 18.2, Chapter 7, Article 1.

Defending Against a DUI Charge

A DUID charge can have serious implications for you, your family, and your reputation, so you should build the strongest possible defense against your charge to ensure the best outcome. DUID cases can be tricky court battles because of the evidence that an illegal substance was involved in the incident. The case can become even more complicated if people or property were injured during the incident.

In any case, if you’ve been charged with a DUID, contact an experienced DUID attorney and begin preparing your defense immediately. J. Madison PLC’s attorneys will work with you to build your case and try to give you the best possible outcome in court.

J. Madison PLC: Fighting for You

J. Madison PLC is a law firm in Northern Virginia that provides both employment and criminal legal defense services. Our attorneys are experienced, compassionate, and will make you their number one priority at every step of the way.

If you’ve been charged with a DUID, contact J. Madison PLC today at (703) 910-5062.

Former Arlington County prosecutor Benjamin R. Inman leads J. Madison PLC's criminal defense practice.

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