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Drug DUI

The process for being charged with a driving under the influence of drugs charge is different than it is for a driving under the influence of alcohol charge, even though both situations mean the same penalties. Learn more about drug recognition experts and the evaluations that they make a the scene on this page.


In Connecticut, it is against the law to drive under the influence of drugs (drug DUI), whether they have been prescribed or not. While there is a clearcut ability to determine alcohol level, and there is a definite numerical limit set forth, drugs are much more complicated and harder to quantify with regards to use and current intoxication. In Connecticut, the method for determining if someone is under the influence of drugs is a thorough physical examination by what is called a drug recognition expert (DRE). This test is similar to a standardized field sobriety test in some aspects.

However, there is much more to the process that goes quite far beyond a typical field sobriety test. This evaluation, when done by a qualified officer, is able to be admitted into evidence against the person for both criminal as well as DMV administrative hearings. If you are facing a Guilford drug DUI, read on for more important information.

Drug DUI Evaluations

The process for determining if someone is driving under the influence of drugs is evolving, but as it stands, it is a 12 step process. The evaluation must be done by an officer that is a drug recognition expert and has been through the requisite training called Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving. The evaluation begins with the expert talking with the arresting officer to gather information about the initial stop and reasons to suspect that the driver was under the influence. Then the DRE will complete a preliminary investigation of their own and conduct a breathalyzer test. After this, they will check the person’s pulse and then complete an eye examination.

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From there, the officer will instruct the driver to perform a divided attention psychophysical test and check their vital signs, including a second pulse check and pupil check. The officer will then inspect for injection marks, examine muscle tone, check the pulse again, and request a toxicological screening of the blood or urine. After this, the officer will get a statement from the person and make a determination as to impairment. This determination can be used in court against the driver, who will be the defendant in the case.

When a person is arrested for Guilford drug DUI, they face the same consequences as an alcohol DUI. This includes a driver’s license suspension, use of an ignition interlock device on their vehicle, jail time, community service, and fines, along with possible DMV-related infractions and punishments. The court also typically imposes substance abuse counseling, probation, and victim impact panel discussions on drug DUI offenders, particularly first-time offenders.

Protecting Yourself

Drug enforcement as it relates to driving a vehicle is becoming more developed and refined, and there is a constant increase in the number of drug recognition expert officers in Connecticut. This means that arrests for a drug-related DUI will only increase with time. DUIs are serious offenses that have drastic effects on one’s life and should be handled by a professional trained in dealing with these types of cases. To speak with a drug DUI defense lawyer, contact our team at Lady DUI.

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