In Illinois, an arrest for DUI is not limited to driving while under the influence of alcohol. Driving while impaired by illegal or legal drugs is grounds for a DUI drugs arrest, even if you have a prescription. It is important to have an attorney who understands the unique requirements that the prosecution must satisfy and how to successfully challenge the prosecution on those important issues.
Although related, a charge for DUI drugs is materially different than a DUI based on alcohol. A DUI drugs charge requires that the prosecution prove different elements than an alcohol-based DUI. The nature of what the prosecution must prove is based on the nature of the drug.
Prescription Drugs –
If the DUI drugs arrest is based on impairment by a prescription drug for which you hold a valid prescription, the prosecution must prove that the prescription medication that can actually cause impairment. The prosecution must also prove that you were actually impaired by the drug.
Controlled Substances –
However, a DUI drugs charge based on a controlled substance for which you do not have a prescription does not require that the prosecution prove that you were actually impaired. The law implies that you were impaired if you have any amount of a controlled substance in your body, even trace amounts. The State need only prove that you had any amount of the controlled substance in your body.
The prosecution of a DUI drugs offense generally requires the admission of expert witness testimony. While this testimony can come from a police officer, most police officers are not trained on DUI drugs charges and their testimony can be challenged or excluded. Failing to have proper evidence can result in the case being dismissed or an acquittal at trial.
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