Blog

Virginia's laws on Driving While Under the Influence are Not Limited to Alcohol. Many people are prosecuted on the basis of smoking marijuana, taking prescription medication (either legally or for recreational use) or a combination while driving.

Posted by Paul McGlone | May 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

Virginia's Driving While Intoxicated/Under the Influence law has gone through eras of progression and as it stands today includes much more than just alcohol.  Due to the rise of drugged driving people can be charged with DUI without so much as a drop of alcohol to drink. Many have been arrested for the admittance of smoking marijuana, and the finding of THC in their blood. 

How do they prosecute DUI without a breath test?  People charged with DUI alleging an influence of drugs obviously won't involve a breath test, so the officer who arrests a person usually asks them to submit to a blood test.  That blood is then sent off to the Department of Forensic Science, a state run lab, to test it for a variety of different drugs.  Depending on what drugs are registered in the blood the State then tries to determine if they can make a case that it is the influence of that drug (or combination of drugs) that rose of a level of influencing a person's driving behavior. 

How does an officer know they are under the influence of anything?  The officer looks for clues such as violations of the traffic laws, the person's disposition, smell of marijuana, bloodshot or dilated eyes, speech, mannerisms, their appearance and any statements of drug use to determine if the accused is under the influence of any drug or drugs.

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently come out with a new survey stating that drugged driving is on the rise, so police officers are now keenly aware to look out of any influence of drugs when stopping someone even for just a simple traffic violation.  A link to the study can be found here: http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/2015/nhtsa-releases-2-impaired-driving-studies-02-2015)

Drive While Under the Influence is a very serious charge and when dealing with drugs (even legally prescribed drugs!)  the laws and defenses are highly complex so you need an experienced attorney to look into these cases if you are accused of them.

About the Author

Paul McGlone

Experience: Attorney McGlone has handled 1,000's of cases in Fairfax County Courts. Paul McGlone knows all of the best practices to give his clients all advantages available for the best results.  Paul McGlone has attended 100's of hours of professional training in the highly specialized area...

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Our Mission

Our Mission is to get the best possible result for each client, while including the client in the decision-making process along the way.  Every case is different, so we strive to gain detailed knowledge of the special facts and then find all of the relevant law to help get the best result either at trial or by negotiation.

Areas We Serve

Our Office is located at Fairfax Courthouse.   The Courthouse and Jail are right outside my window and you can’t park any closer than our office.  We focus on defense of DUI, traffic, and other misdemeanor and drug charges.

Menu