In Colorado, a driver is guilty of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) when his ability to mentally or physically (or both) exercise clear judgment and sufficient physical control in the safe operation of his vehicle is severely impacted by his use of drugs. The punishment for a DUID in Colorado is the same as that for DUI or DWAI. The drugs involved in a DUID do not have to be solely illegal ones. Use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs can also affect a driver’s ability to safely operate his vehicle.
When you’re arrested for a DUID in Colorado, you are required to submit a blood or urine test. Even if a blood or urine test revealed the presence of drugs in your system, it does not automatically prove you committed a DUID. Some drugs can remain in your system days or weeks before you got behind the wheel, and unless drugs were found in your vehicle at the time of arrest, proving your guilt will be difficult for the prosecuting attorney.
The arresting officer also makes a written statement about your demeanor at the time of arrest, mistakes observed while you were driving, roadside test performance, any incriminating statements you made and any other relevant information. If you are ever arrested for a DUID, you need a Colorado criminal defense attorney with experience and a proven track record handling DUID cases. This is especially important because there’s a chance that the arresting officer in your case may not be a trained drug recognition expert or drug recognition evaluator (DRE). DREs are police officers who are specially trained to recognize impairment in a driver that is caused by drugs other than alcohol. A Colorado criminal defense attorney can use an officer’s lack of DRE knowledge to discredit his statement or prevent that officer from testifying on matters requiring expertise in drug recognition.