Motorists charged with Driving under the Influence of Drugs (DUI-D) in Colorado face harsh penalties, including substantial fines and court costs, driver’s license consequences, several hours of community service, drug education classes, and even jail time. An experienced DUI defense attorney in Denver can help you navigate the complexities of the justice system and develop any arguments that may exist in your case.
Principal Attorney Jay Tiftickjian has litigated hundreds of drug-related cases, and is nationally published on the subject of drugged driving defense. (West Publications/ Aspatore’s Inside the Minds, Navigating DUI Drug Cases). He has lectured on drug-related DUI defense and has successfully litigated hundreds of drug related DUI cases as a criminal defense attorney and former Colorado deputy district attorney. Mr. Tiftickjian has personally mentored and trained his team of defense lawyers at Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C., and each attorney has received specialized training in DUI-D defense through the National College for DUI Defense.
Police Investigation of DUI-Drug Cases
Under the current Colorado DUI law, any detectible amount of prohibited drug in a driver’s system could lead to a DUI or DWAI charge. Colorado also has an inference of impairment with a blood test of 5 nano grams or more of THC.
During a routine traffic stop, a patrol officer might suspect that a driver is under the influence of drugs. If the officer who contacts the suspect is not a drug recognition evaluator (DRE), he will call upon a DRE—a police officer trained to recognize signs of drug impairment—to be dispatched to the police station to perform a Drug Recognition Evaluation.
The Drug Recognition Evaluation is voluntary, thus the suspect is not required to complete the evaluation. It is simply a tool used by the police, like field sobriety tests, to provide more evidence for the prosecution at trial in a DUI case. Based on the officer’s observations during this evaluation, he draws conclusions about a driver’s drug impairment and will try to testify about these conclusions in court.
DUI-D cases in Colorado also involve a blood test to screen and confirm traces of drug use in your system. A typical drug screen in a DUI case will test for barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids (THC), cocaine, ethanol, methadone, methamphetamine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP), and propoxyphene (Darvon). The prosecutor in a DUI case will allege that the drug impaired you, but it can just as well be the case that the traces of drug in your blood did not impair you at the time that you were driving can use any metabolite of a drug as evidence. Marijuana (THC) has metabolites that can be found in your blood far after its impairing effect wears off.
An experienced DUI defense attorney can search for flaws in the DRE’s administration of the impairment evaluation. In addition, a DUI defense attorney can evaluate whether, at the time you were stopped and arrested, your constitutional and statutory rights were upheld. Even a small mistake in the process of blood testing, from the initial blood draw to the testing of the blood sample at the state lab, could affect the credibility of the blood test results. An experienced DUI defense attorney will know how to use these errors to develop defenses to a blood test in a Colorado DUI case.
If you have been charged with DUI based on an accusation that you drove with drugs in your system, then contact the experienced DUI defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C. The firm is led by top-rated DUI defense attorney Jay Tiftickjian, and the team will work hard to craft a defense to your pending DUI-D charges. You can call Tiftickjian Law Firm P.C. or contact us through this website for more information and a consultation with an experienced Denver DUI attorney.