DUI drug offenses can hold serious penalties, but what happens if someone is pulled over and is under the influence of drugs and alcohol? A knowledgeable DUI drug attorney can explain the impact that West Palm Beach DUI drug and alcohol interactions can have on your case. Work with a skilled DUI attorney that could work to mitigate the severity of the penalties you face.
Prosecution of DUIs That Involve Alcohol and Drugs
It is very rare that the prosecutors in Palm Beach County will have a case of both drugs and alcohol. It does happen, but it will only happen when there is a blood test. Typically, when a person is arrested for a DUI, they are asked for a breath test. If they fail that breath test, the investigation stops and they do not look for drugs. If they pass the breath test, the officer will ask for a urine test, which might show the presence of drugs. If there is a crash with serious bodily injury or even death, they will forcefully draw blood and that will show both.
The mixing of drugs and alcohol depends upon the amount of alcohol and the type of drugs. The government would argue that alcohol amplifies the effect of most narcotics and that a person is not supposed to take alcohol when taking narcotics or controlled substances, even antibiotics. They are going to argue that if a person does not think that they are impaired by alcohol and if a person thinks they are impaired by drugs, they can be impaired by both. If there are drugs and alcohol as evidence in a DUI case, the prosecutor is going to use both to prove the case. If there is not any evidence of any drugs, they are not going to be able to use it.
How the Mixing of Drugs and Alcohol Can Affect the Defense
The ways that West Palm Beach DUI drug and alcohol interactions can affect a DUI defense depends upon the amount of drugs, and the amount of alcohol found in the person’s system. Typically, the mixing of drugs and alcohol is not a good idea since they can counteract or amplify each other. They will make a person more impaired. If a person takes prescription medication and drinks alcohol with it, it will enhance the effects of the prescription medication. It might also amplify the alcohol test results because some medications will have that effect on an alcohol test.
A person may not realize that the medication that they take impairs them, because they built up a tolerance to it. If they need that medication to function, they do not feel impaired. Once they start drinking, it may alter the balance of the chemicals in the body and therefore, it would unexpectedly impair a person’s ability to drive. The person did not expect the alcohol to affect them the way it did, because they had medication in their system.
Potential Escalation of DUI Penalties
The penalties for West Palm Beach DUI drug and alcohol interactions are not inherently more serious for a first offense. If a person is impaired, they are impaired. It does not matter if it is a drug DUI, an alcohol DUI, or if they are mixed together. It comes to the same conclusion that the person is impaired. It does not matter whether it is alcohol or drugs or alcohol and drugs; if it leads to impairment, it will lead to a prosecution and the penalties will not become more serious. They become more serious when there is a lot of alcohol on board plus drugs, but alcohol and drugs do not make much of a difference.
Litigation in Drug DUI Cases
Lawyers look at the evidence that is provided to them by the state. They are looking for chemical tests, blood tests, urine tests, and expert testimony. They want to see whether or not the state can prove that a person was under the influence of drugs at the time that they were driving. Any qualified West Palm Beach DUI attorney would assert that their claim is moot.
Most people take medication. If they are tested and have to take a urine test and are subject to a normal drug screen, most people are going to come up with some type of medication in their system. Not all medication will impair a person. Even the medication that might impair a person might not impair a person who takes it regularly, who has built up a tolerance to it, and needs that medication just to function. Those are issues that lawyers would use to litigate it. If a person is legally prescribed drugs and they come up in the person’s system, it is not unusual and does not mean that the person is under the influence of it.
How the Interaction of Prescription Drugs and Alcohol Can Lead to a DUI
If a person gets pulled over and an officer smelled alcohol on the person’s breath, they are going to be subjected to a battery of DUI tests. Most officers, if they smell alcohol, will automatically suspect the person of DUI. It does not mean that the person is impaired, but the police might still investigate and they can arrest the person if they suspect that they might be impaired. A person could be prescribed to take something like Xanax and the person may take it morning, noon, and night, which is fine and no one would know anything about it.
If the person had a drink and gets pulled over or has a minor accident and the officer smells alcohol, it will open the door to them finding out what the person had to drink, where they had it, and how much the person had to drink. Then it opens the door as to whether or not the person has also taken any prescription medication. It is legitimate for an individual to take the medication that they have been prescribed, but that does not mean they are allowed to drive under the influence. If an individual wants to know more about West Palm Beach DUI drug and alcohol interactions and how the interaction could affect their case, they should work with a skilled DUI lawyer that can answer their questions.