Should I plead guilty even though I had a 0% BAC? 4 Answers as of July 12, 2013

Last May I was exiting onto the freeway when I reached for a bottle under my feet, lost control, hit the side rail, scraped my car, flattened my tires, shook me up. I asked someone that stopped to call 911 for me. Big mistake, as it turned out I was not hurt but very shaken up. The office assumed I must be on something so after all the tests were over I was taken to the hospital for blood test. My alcohol content was 0.00.

But my blood showed all the medication I was on. I am medially disabled from a mental disorder, the medications I am on, I have been on for years. I know how they affect me. They gave me back my life, I am in college trying to better myself. This DUI could greatly affect my future in college. My court appointed attorney said I should plead guilty. Why? This was my first offense.

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Andersen Law PLLC
Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
Sounds kind of fishy. What medication were you on?
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/12/2013
The Law Firm of David Jolly
The Law Firm of David Jolly | David Jolly
You should never plead guilty if you have a BAC of 0%! The State (or City) may argue that they can prove that you were a DUI based on the medication in your system, but the truth is that medication in your system does not prove impairment. The State Toxicologist cannot testify categorically that YOU were impaired by the medication in your system. Therefore the State must prove impairment by the medication in your system but other means, meaning field sobriety tests, observations, driving, etc.

Because you were in an accident there may be an explanation that you were not impaired but shaken up or injured due to the accident. Additionally, the blood draw results must be admissible. There are a number of procedural requirements that enable a blood draw to be admissible in court. These results must be analyzed by your attorney to ensure the admissibility. Without knowing more it is hard to say how solid of a case you have, but unlike alcohol cases with a BAC above 0.080, there is no "per se" guilt with drug ingestion. Fight it!
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/20/2011
Law Office of James A Schoenberger
Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
If you do not believe that the medications you were taking contributed to this so that you were driving under the influence (of medications, not alcohol), then you should NOT plead guilty. I assume you have Rxs for the meds. Further, the officer cannot "assume" you were on something and have you tested ... he needs probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/20/2011
Law Office of Andrew Subin
Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
I don't see why you should plead to the DUI. In order to properly defend these charges, you might need to show a jury that your prescribed medications do not affect your ability to drive. Have you been driving on these meds for a long time? Do the labels on the meds advise you not to drive? Have you ever experienced difficulty driving due to the meds? These are the kinds of questions I would be asking. In general, don't plead guilty to anything unless there is a clear benefit to you from pleading guilty (lower charge, less jail time something). A plea bargain is supposed to be a bargain, meaning you get something out of it. Otherwise, make them prove it. Please feel free to call if you'd like a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/20/2011
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