Hospital staff informed Benjamin Levy, a man with a long criminal history being treated at the Aspen Valley Hospital Emergency Room, not to drive after leaving hospital premises. Local news source Vail Daily reports Levy "did not heed the advice." According to nurses, Levy was under the influence of narcotics.
Nursing staff phoned a drunk driving hotline to report Levy was driving a white Audi station wagon after having taken the narcotics. Not long after police spotted Levy's vehicle at Local's Corner gas station and approached him, noting the AVH bracelet. After running a check, it was discovered that Levy's license was suspended for failure to install an ignition interlock device in his vehicle. Officer Marcin Debski reported that Levy's speech was slurred and later called a nurse at AVH for clarification, who confirmed that Levy had taken narcotics. A Breathalyzer test yielded a reading of 0.0, and Levy refused to undergo field sobriety tests. He likewise refused to provide a sample of blood.
As Levy has three prior DUI convictions on his record, once arrested he was charged with felony DUI - matter of course for fourth DUIs. He already had a handful of warrants for failures to appear in various courts in scattered counties, including Arapahoe, Denver and Garfield counties. Throughout 2013 and onward, Levy has seen multiple arrests. In one incident he fired a gunshot into his neighbor's apartment. No one was hurt in the incident, but later that same day he was arrested for DUI. Prior to his most recent DUI arrest, Levy was found unconscious next to a heroin-containing hypodermic needle this past August.
Driving under the influence of drugs is prohibited in Georgia under OGCA Section 40-6-391. Even if the drug is not shown to be present in blood tests, an individual may still be liable if the metabolites of drugs or narcotics are found in their system. A legal prescription for a drug does not constitute a defense to driving while under the influence of that drug. A drug is defined as any controlled substance as regulated by the federal government. If convicted for drugged driving, this is considered a prior offense by the court in the event that you are charged with a standard DUI, a charge which takes into consideration whether or not it was the individual's first offense when determining punishment. With Georgia's adherence to ‘per se' laws, any trace amount of a drug can lead to a charge for this offense. Given the stringency of these laws, if you are charged with driving under the influence of narcotics or other drugs, contact a Georgia DUI defense attorney immediately.
These charges are complex and require review by a skilled and specialized DUI attorney. Richard Lawson is devoted to building you a durable defense and upholding your rights in the courtroom. Do not hesitate to contact Georgia DUI Attorney Richard Lawson for a free consultation.