I was discussing a case with a prosecutor today. He made the offer that my client plead to Driving with a Measurable Amount of a Controlled Substance in his system. This is basically the same thing as a DUI, except the prosecution does not have to prove any impairment or level whatsoever. The only thing they have to show is that the person had a small amount of the byproduct of a drug in their system. The only defense to this charge is that the person has a valid prescription for the controlled substance. Should the person plead to this charge? My answer is if there is another way around it, don’t plea to. I suggested a Drug Related Reckless charge. The prosecutor asked why? Here are my four reasons?
- A metabolite charge will suspend your license for 90 days, or 1 year if it is a second offense.
- A Drug Related Reckless driving charge will save the license (if you kept it at the DMV hearing), or will reduce the license suspension to 60 days if it is a first offense.
- Usually, the Courts will give a lessor fine for a DRR.
- Usually, the DRR will not involve jail time or as much community service hours.
Be aware that both charges are similar in nature. They both will stay on your record for 10 years before expungement can take place. Both usually require a drug class. Both will have the stigma of DUI along with insurance implications.