CSI star Gary Dourdan was recently charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance after he crashed his car into two parked cars in Los Angeles, California. When police responded, they found ecstasy in Dourdan's possession and charged him for drug possession. Dourdan has not been charged for any criminal offense(s) related to the crash. Some people might expect that Dourdan would have been charged with
Driving under the Influence. But unless and until the police have probable cause to show that the specific offense was committed, he cannot be legally charged with that offense.
Probable Cause means evidence that would cause a reasonable person to believe that the offense was committed and that this person committed it. The fact that someone was in possession of a controlled substance at the time of a car crash may, under some circumstances, lead someone to suspect that the driver is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. But, standing alone, it is not sufficient to support an arrest or a charge for DUI. In order to be charged with DUI, there must be additional evidence that the driver had actually ingested alcohol or a controlled substance such as: a trained officer observing signs of impairment, an odor of alcohol or drugs, failed field sobriety tests and/or chemical tests confirming drugs or alcohol in the driver's system.
In cases where an officer has reason to believe that a driver is under the influence of a controlled substance, the officer can require someone to submit to a blood test. Breath tests cannot detect the presence of controlled substances, so the driver does not have the right to choose a breath test when drugs are suspected. Unlike breath tests, blood test results frequently are not available for weeks or months after an incident. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a person to be charged with DUI several months after the incident.
If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with DUI, or if they have been in an accident where drugs or alcohol is suspected, it is important that you contact a Las Vegas DUI Attorney right away. A Las Vegas DUI Lawyer can assist you in analyzing the facts of the case, identifying applicable defenses, determining eligibility for diversion programs and/or developing the most aggressive trial strategy possible to protect your legal rights.