Can be charged with a DUI if I pass the blood test? 10 Answers as of August 15, 2011

I was pulled over and blew a 0.06% at the police station (after refusing on the scene) and was not charged with a DUI. They then asked if I had any drugs in my system and I said that I occasionally take prescribed clonazepam for anxiety. This gave them cause to ask for a blood sample, which I gave. I know for a fact that the blood test will come back minimal or possibly negative, as I hadn't taken any pills that day. Can they still go after me for a DUI even if the drug results come back with low levels?

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Law Office of Andrew Subin
Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
They can base on DUI on drugs other than alcohol (even prescribed drugs if they affect ability to drive) but this will be a difficult case for them to prove. My guess is if the blood test shows only low levels of a prescription drug, they will not charge a DUI. If they do, hire a good DUI attorney and fight it.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/15/2011
Law Office of Joseph Schodowski
Law Office of Joseph Schodowski | Joseph Schodowski
A blood test cannot be passed or failed. It simply detects the presence of drugs or alcohol in your system. Even if the test results indicate a small amount of clonazepam in your system, its presence coupled with the .06% may give the prosecutor's PC to charge you. Just because you blew under the legal limit, doesn't mean you can't be charged. The DUI statute allows the state to charge you driving above .08 OR as affected by drugs or alcohol. This means that the state will attempt to prove you were under the influence not by your breath or blood test, although it may be used, but by your driving pattern, the officer's observations of you, and your performance of the Standard Field Sobriety Tests.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/3/2011
Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law
Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law | Michael Maltby
They can charge you with DUI even though you alcohol level (BAC) was less than .08. They only have to provide evidence that your driving was affected by drugs and/or alcohol. To do this they would need facts that your ability to drive was affected not just that you had drugs and alcohol in your system.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/2/2011
The Law Office of James McKain
The Law Office of James McKain | James McKain
Yes, they can still attempt to prosecute. There are two ways to be convicted of DUI: (1) drive while having a BAC of .08% or higher, or (2) drive while your ability to drive is affected to "any appreciable degree". Many people don't realize that they can be convicted of DUI even if they are under the magic .08%. If you are at risk for prosecution of DUI it is in your best interest to contact an experienced DUI attorney and consult with them with the particulars of your case.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/2/2011
Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
Unfortunately, yes. Whether they can convict you of a DUI is another question, however. It's important for you to get an attorney to get the best result possible.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    You can be convicted of a DUI if you are found to be affected by alcohol, any drug, or the *combined* effects of alcohol and any drug. So theoretically, you *could* be convicted of DUI based on the 0.06 breath test, although, without more, I would think that was a tough case for the prosecutor and should be challenged with help of a good lawyer experienced in DUI defense. age. Thank you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    You ask a good question. The answer depends on what the therapeutic level of Clonazpam is. If you were under that level or within that level, some prosecutors may offer you a deal or even dismiss the charge. On the other hand, it is illegal do drive under the influence of a prescription drug even if it is prescribed for you. As a prosecutor, I obtained a conviction on someone who drank his entire supply of Methadone and drove. The question literally comes down to whether you were "under the influence or affected by" the medication you took. The evidentiary standard is whether your ability to drive was lessened to "any appreciable degree." If it was, you may be proven guilty. If not, you may be acquitted. You definitely should have a lawyer who understands the difference.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    The Law Firm of David Jolly
    The Law Firm of David Jolly | David Jolly
    Yes, they can charge you with a DUI even if your blood alcohol level is beneath the "per se" level of 0.080. If you admitted to taking drugs (even if it wasn't immediately before driving) the officer then has a right to request a blood draw, which I gather he did. If they find drugs in your system (even if prescription) the State/City could argue that you were affected by the combination of drugs/alcohol. Ultimately your case (strength/weakness) may depend on your driving and performance on field sobriety tests.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    Yes you can be charged and if you are charged with DUI a good lawyer can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    You can be charged with DUI if there is sufficient evidence that your ability to drive was impaired by alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two. Depending on the amount and type of drug in your blood, the prosecutor might have difficulty proving the effect on driving.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/2/2011
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