Illegal Drugs DUI-D Defense

We may typically think of DUI charges as being about alcohol, but in fact, the same crime also covers other drugs, including illegal drugs. Although all drugs result in the same actual charge, this kind of DUI is often referred to as DUI-D or driving under the influence of drugs. DUI-D charges involving illegal drugs can be some of the most difficult to face, because although a person who is convicted will face the same penalties as if they had been drinking or taking prescription drugs, they could also be hit with possession and other drug-related charges.

If you have been accused of driving under the influence of illegal drugs in Colorado Springs, you need help from an experienced defense attorney now. The penalties you could face if convicted have the potential to derail your life completely. Colorado Springs DUI-D illegal drugs defense attorney Christian A. Schwaner can help you fight back against these charges and minimize your chance of a conviction or help get your sentence reduced. With years of experience as a defense attorney combined with prior experience as a prosecutor, he knows how DUI-D cases unfold from both sides. Get in touch with Christian A. Schwaner, P.C. today to start building a smart defense.

Understanding DUI-D for illegal drugs

Illegal drugs may seem like a separate issue from alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs, but in terms of driving, they are all treated exactly the same under Colorado law. The exact legal definition of DUI in Colorado is “driving a motor vehicle or vehicle when a person has consumed alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs, that affects the person to a degree that the person is substantially incapable, either mentally or physically, or both mentally and physically, of exercising clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.” Any illegal drug has the potential to make you unsafe to drive, and you might be charged with DUI-D for illegal drugs if you are suspected of being under the influence of:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • LSD
  • MDMA
  • Ketamine
  • PCP
  • Any other controlled substance

What sets these drugs apart from other drugs that can result in a DUI charge is that they can also result in a drug possession charge, or other charges related to illegal drugs, especially if any drugs were found in the car during the traffic stop. You can be charged no matter how impaired you are if you are at all under the influence of illegal drugs.

DWAI charges and illegal drugs

Another crime drivers can be charged with is driving while ability impaired (DWAI). Under Colorado law, a person can be convicted of DWAI if they are caught driving while impaired by any drug “to the slightest degree so that the person is less able than the person ordinarily would have been, either mentally or physically, or both mentally and physically, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.” Just like with DUI charges, there is no real difference between DWAI charges for different drugs, except that if you are accused of DWAI for illegal drugs, you may face other illegal drug charges as well. For example, if the officer who pulls you over finds a baggie of cocaine in your car and suspects that you have a small amount of cocaine in your system, you may be charged with both possession and DWAI, even if you seem mostly fine to drive. Whether you are charged with DUI or DWAI for illegal drugs, the penalties are extremely serious.

Penalties for DUI-D and DWAI with illegal drugs in Colorado Springs

If you have been accused of driving under the influence of illegal drugs in Colorado Springs, you could face serious penalties for DUI-D or DWAI alone, not to mention those of other drug charges you might face. In addition, if you have been convicted of DUI-D or DWAI before, the penalties will get worse each time. Here are the penalties under Colorado law for driving under the influence of illegal drugs:

DUI-D (1st offense)

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • Up to 96 hours of community service
  • Suspension of your license for up to 9 months

DUI-D (2nd offense)

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • A fine of up to $1,500
  • Up to 120 hours of community service
  • Suspension of your license for up to 1 year

DUI-D (3rd or subsequent offense)

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • A fine of up to $1,500
  • Up to 120 hours of community service
  • Suspension of your license for up to 2 years

DWAI (1st offense)

  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • A fine of up to $500
  • Up to 48 hours of community service
  • 8 points toward license suspension on your DMV record

DWAI (2nd offense)

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • A fine of up to $1,500
  • Up to 120 hours of community service
  • 8 points toward license suspension on your DMV record

Think of how much it could wreck your life to spend this much time in jail, pay this much in fines, and have your license taken away. Now imagine facing all of that in addition to harsh penalties for drug possession or any other crime you may have been charged with. You cannot afford to pay these penalties. You need to get in touch with a defense attorney today.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

DUI or DWAI charges for illegal drugs are extremely serious, whether they come alone or along with other drug charges. You need the help of an experienced defense attorney today. Colorado Springs DUI-D illegal drugs defense attorney Christian A. Schwaner has years of experience on both sides of the criminal justice system. He is ready to help build a strong defense to minimize your chance of conviction or the penalties you will pay. For more information, call Christian A. Schwaner, P.C. today at (719) 577-9700.