Ariano & Reppucci, PLLC Articles DUI Alcohol vs DUI Drug Cases

DUI Alcohol vs DUI Drug Cases

By Christopher Ariano  Aug. 10, 2014 9:37a

DUI drug cases are profoundly different from other intoxication cases. DUI cases based on alcohol intoxication are primarily concerned with the quantifiable amount of alcohol that someone has consumed and much less on the effect of the alcohol. The prosecution of drunk driving and alcohol is based on blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Breath testing devices which officers currently use to determine a suspects BAC were developed starting in the 1950s. These devices were developed predicated upon law enforcement's need to combat the serious societal concern posed by drunk driving. Since this time, alcohol intoxication cases have focused on establishing and proving an objective BAC.

The current threshold for intoxication throughout the United States is .08 percent BAC.

In comparison a DUI drug cases are prosecuted based on the effect that the particular substance has on the individual's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle; not on the amount of the drug that has been consumed. While sophisticated blood tests can prove the amount of a drug in a person's system, there are no recognized objective criteria for what the legal threshold is for a given drug. Moreover, many states do not utilize sophisticated blood tests such that they lack the ability to even quantify the amount of a particular drug in someone's system. In addition, many law enforcement agencies obtain urine samples rather than blood samples in DUI drug cases. Urine samples reveal presence of a drug; not the amount of the drug in an individual's system.

There is growing recognition on law enforcement's part that there are more drug DUI's now than ever before. This has brought about the need to develop different mechanisms to confront this ever-increasing trend. A recent effort has been focused on developing a saliva test, but such a test would be designed merely to detect the presence of drugs in a person's system. However, blood and urine tests already determine the presence of drugs. Rather, the quantification of drugs should be the focus of law enforcement's efforts to successfully interdict drug DUI's coupled with testimony from qualified experts as to the effect that the given drug has on an individual's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

DUI drug cases are the hardest type of intoxication case to prove. By definition, they can be successfully defended by prepared and thoughtful defense strategies. Necessarily, the defense attorney must employ a wide range of approaches to successfully represent his client in drug intoxication cases. It's recommended you consult an experienced drunk driving lawyer in Phoenix or Phoenix drug DUI attorney for more information related to your charges.

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