Drug DUI

Determining if someone is driving under the influence of drugs can be a more complicated process than determining if they are driving under the influence of alcohol. However, there are methods in place to detect drugged driving. On this page, we explore the drug DUI in greater detail. Check this out if you face this charge.


Drug DUIs can arise from the use of typical illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines. But, they can also come from legal substances such as alcohol or marijuana or those that have been prescribed by a doctor, such as prescription pills. This is because Connecticut law makes it illegal to drive while impaired, so it applies to all intoxicants, legal or otherwise. However, because there is no blood alcohol content (BAC) test, and the symptoms of drug use are so varied, it is much harder to define or predict what is or isn’t illegal. You can learn more about New Haven drug DUIs on this page.

Determining Intoxicants in Drug DUI Cases

In Connecticut, the method used for assessing if someone is intoxicated by means of drugs is a 12 step process administered by a drug recognition expert (DRE). Part of the test is comparable to a standardized field sobriety test, but other aspects are much more intrusive.

Although the 12 step process is evolving and being refined, it is generally as follows; First, the expert officer will conduct a breath test of the driver in question to rule out alcohol as the intoxicant involved in the situation. The DRE will also conduct a preliminary interview with the arresting officer and conduct a preliminary examination of the driver. Then the expert officer will then conduct a pulse check and an eye examination. Then the expert officer will instruct the suspect to complete a divided attention psychophysical test, check their vitals, and complete a second pulse check, followed by then examining their pupils.

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The expert officer will proceed to examine the muscle tone, check for injection marks, and do a third pulse check. The DRE will then request a toxicology examination through a physical liquid, request a statement from the suspect, and make a determination as to if the driver is impaired and, if so, under what substance. This assessment is admissible against the person in criminal and DUI proceedings.


After a person is arrested for DUI, the consequences include jail time, probation, fines, community service, and ignition interlock device requirements. Further, the court often requires the person to submit to some form of drug education or substance abuse counseling. Also, it should be noted that if the substance involved is illegal and found present, there could be additional charges related to that.

If you have been arrested for DUI in New Haven and the situation is drug-related, it is a complicated and evolving issue and would best be handled by a trained professional. To speak with an attorney that has worked with drug DUIs in New Haven before, contact Lady DUI.

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