Every state has laws which make it unlawful to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) at or above a certain amount. However, it is also a crime to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of cocaine. In many states, this is called a DUID charge, or “driving under the influence of drugs” charge. The combination of driving under the influence of both alcohol and cocaine is a more severe offense in that the consequences are likely to be more severe.
Driving Under the Influence of Cocaine
Driving under the influence of cocaine is treated in most states as the same type of criminal offense as a DUI (“driving under the influence”) charge, but it is sometimes called a “DUID” charge, or “driving under the influence of drugs.” A blood test or urine test is usually given to the suspect in order to confirm the charge, as a breathalyzer test is not possible with cocaine.
The consequences for a DUID conviction that are accompanied by a charge for possession of the narcotic cocaine can be very serious. Even first time offenses of cocaine possession can lead to imprisonment and large fines. Sentences for cocaine possession are as follows:
- First offense: Up to 7 years imprisonment and up to $50,000 in fines.
- Second offense: Up to 15 years imprisonment and up to $100,000 in fines.
- Three or more offenses: Up to 25 years imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Cocaine Possession
Driving under the influence of alcohol plus being charged with cocaine possession simply complicates matters for a defendant by adding a felony possession of a drug charge onto the DUI charge. Depending upon the amount of cocaine in one’s possession, the cocaine possession charge could be a “simple” cocaine possession charge, which incurs lower penalties, or, if the amount is sizable, the charge could be “possession with intent to distribute,” which carries a substantial penalty.
Help from a Lawyer for a Cocaine DUI
Cases involving drugs and DUI charges are complicated and should be handled by the expertise of an experienced criminal attorney. An experienced criminal attorney will be able to understand current trends and state DUI laws in order to increase the likelihood of success of the case.