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If you have been drinking or have an illegal substance on your person and in your system, a routine traffic stop can quickly escalate into much more than you may have bargained for when you initially took the wheel. An arrest for DUI will cause you to lose your license and may even come with the requirement that you have an interlock device installed in your car in order to resolve the charges. But if drugs are also involved in the incident, the stakes are even higher. The range of punishment and the fines and costs associated with possession and other drug related charges is significant, so it is important to know a few things about how the police might detect drugs in your system and what their limitations are when trying to determine if a driver has been taking drugs.

Three hurdles the police face when pulling a person over and trying to get an accurate drug test result include:

  • Most training give to law enforcement has to do with spotting a drunk driver; it is rare for a police force to provide comprehensive drug detection training as well.
  • Specialized equipment is needed to detect drugs in a person’s system, and that type of equipment is usually not readily available to an officer during a traffic stop. Most times the only equipment on hand is used to measure the level of alcohol in your system, and this testing equipment is not reliable for detection of drugs.
  • If a test is administered it can take a while for the results to be made available, and this means the police are out of time to include a drugs related charge to your DUI charge.

The result of these difficulties is that most times the charge is one of DUI, but if there are other factors that lead the authorities to believe drugs are present you can also be charged with possession. Having multiple charges filed against you ups the ante in that you have to defend more than one allegation. We have experience helping drivers who have received all sorts of violations, and can help you too.

For help with drug and alcohol cases, call our office to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney. We help people charged with all sorts of crimes in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Call today to schedule an appointment.


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