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How can a person that does not drink get a DUI?

Loveland, CO |

I was born and raised in Northern Colorado and recently received a DUI/DWAI for what I assume was being on my prescription medications. I assume this only because I never took a blood or breath test and never admitted to drinking. I work at a bar and am pulled over all of the time for what I feel is simply driving home late at night, which I don't believe is a crime. I am tired of the abuse that the law enforcement in my community is conducting. When my car gets stolen, I get no help from police. When I drive home from work I am lied to and asked to perform stupid pet tricks on the side of the road. I am now being admonished by my University even before I am convicted of a crime! Can I take legal action against my University for this? It ruined the end of my semester and all my grades.

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Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    Yes. People in the Denver metro area are stopped for being African-America, Hispanic, and other ethnicities, driving a nice car in a bad neighborhood, driving a beater car in a nice neighborhood, and all different types of "profiling" by law enforcement. It does not just happen in Northern CO. It happens all over the country every single day.

    I ALWAYS advise my clients to NEVER take roadside maneuvers - walk and turn, 1-leg stand, and HGN. Most police officers do not administer them correctly and can not perform them correctly themselves when asked to perform them in a nice, warm controlled environment in the courtroom. The roadside maneuvers are a crock. So, simply refuse to take them, as they are voluntary in nature.

    Yes, you can get cited, charged, and even convicted for driving under the influence or while impaired by prescription drugs - vicodin, xanax, valium, percocet, ambient, luniest, and any of the benzodiazapines will cause central nervous system depression and muscle relaxation that is very similar to alcohol. That is why many prescription medications have warning labels about not driving. You need to get a good defense attorney and have them get information from your doctor about the prescription and its effects.

    With respect to your University, understand that they do not have to give you the same presumption of innocence that you are given by the criminal courts. They are controlled by separate administrative rules. How did they admonish you? Did they take any administrative action such as sanctions? If they only warned you of administrative repercussions IF you do end up getting convicted, then you do not have any recourse. That is totally within their rights. The fact that their lecturing and admonishing of you caused you to be emotionally upset and ruined the end of your semester is not the basis for a lawsuit. If your emotional upset led to the inability to study and poor grades, that is understandable and I definitely feel for you, but that is similarly not actionable.

    You also want to take into careful consideration as to whether you want to continue at the university or in college. Understand that if you do what is called "peeing in your own pool" by taking an action against the University with the EEOC or in some other manner, they will go out of their way to make your life miserable and find some way to make sure you no longer attend their school. Additionally, they will blackball you and make it virtually impossible to gain admission to another college or university. Is it right? No. Is it a realty? Definitely. I was a professor for years and saw that universities and colleges have their own prima donna method of functioning. Additionally, all of my family members are deans, professors, provosts, and university presidents. They can attest to the bizarre culture of academic life. It is simply not real life.

    So, there you have it. I have given you advice on the legalities of your situation and the realities of your situation. I definitely feel for you and I am not at all in agreement with how you have been treated. However, you have to take into consideration what you want for your future.

    The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.

  2. Mr. Leroi has offered some great insights. Let me ad some.

    DUI and DUID are traffic offenses that relate to some foreign substance in someone's body making them substantially incapable of operating of operating a motor vehicle safely. Cough medicine or vodka -- it makes no difference.

    If you were cited, I presume a police report exists. Hire a criminal defense attorney in Weld County to fight this case if you feel wronged. I cannot comment on the other concerns you raised, but I agree with the perceptions of Mr. Leroi.

    Bottom line -- if you were wronged, don't cave in!!

    Good luck.

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.

  3. A late client of mine was arrested for DUI for looking impaired. He was terminally ill. We got the DMV case and the court case dismissed. You need a defense attorney.

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