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Driving Under The Influence of Drugs

What you need to know

How Is a DUI Drug Case Prosecuted?

  • It is a crime in the state of Washington to drive under the influence of any drug, whether the drug is prescribed, illegal, or over-the-counter, as long as the person’s driving was affected to “any appreciable degree” by a drug, a combination of drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol.
  • Usually, there must be proof of impaired driving or perhaps an accident, involving a driver suspected of having consumed drugs before driving.
  • The law enforcement officer must obtain a search warrant, authorized by a judge in order to obtain a blood sample from the driver. A law enforcement Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) may be called upon to administer various sobriety tests to gather evidence of drug intoxication.

At a DUI-drug trial, the officer may testify about his or her observations of:

  • Impaired driving (or accident investigation)
  • Signs of drug intoxication observed in the driver
  • Signs of drug intoxication after a DRE evaluation
  • The driver’s admission of having consumed any drug(s)
  • The results of any blood analysis
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How are Drug DUI Cases Defended?

  • A knowledgeable DUI-drug trial lawyer may move to have evidence excluded (meaning it cannot be used at trial by the prosecutor).
  • The judge may exclude evidence for a number of reasons, such as if the rules of evidence require exclusion, or if there was a violation of a constitutional or statutory right in obtaining the evidence.
  • If the evidence is allowed by the judge, a talented DUI-Drug trial lawyer will know how to minimize the impact of the evidence and how to show the evidence lacks reliability or accuracy or is of questionable evidentiary value.

What are the Penalties if convicted of a Drug DUI?

The penalties for a DUI-drug conviction are the same as those for an alcohol DUI, except that there is no enhanced penalty based on a high quantity of the substance in the driver’s blood as there is for an alcohol DUI. 

The penalties may include:

The severity of the penalty depends upon the number of prior offenses (DUI, Physical Control, or lesser charge originally charged as a DUI or Physical Control) committed within 7 years. A person may also be convicted of a drug-DUI with an allegation that he or she refused blood testing. In this event, the mandatory minimum penalties are harsher than if the person submitted to the blood test.

What Experience Does Callahan Law Offer?

Why Should You Choose Callahan Law?


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Let Us Be Your Legal Advocate

Contact one of our Experienced DUI Attorneys today and get the advice you need now.  Learn how to save your license and stay out of jail.

Linda M. Callahan

With Offices in Seattle, Olympia, and Shelton, we literally surround the Puget Sound.

81 S. Main St, Seattle, WA 98104

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Disclaimer: The legal information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee.  This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of Washington.

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