Drug-Based DUI Cases Present Challenges For Prosecutors

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The man accused of killing two children is out of jail. Police say Robert Icenogle was behind the wheel when he smashed into a stalled van in Colorado Springs.

Icenogle allegedly admitted to police he was taking two prescriptions when the accident happened Monday afternoon.

Neto White, 9, and 17-year-old Leondro Carabajal died while trying to push a stalled van out of traffic on Pikes Peak near Parkside, not far from Memorial Park. Leondro's mother Jessica told 11 News her son was trying to help.

"It shows you how quick you can blink your eyes, one minute they're here and gone the next," she said.

Court papers show Robert Icenogle was on the powerful prescriptions Phenergan and Methadone at the time of the crash.

Prosecutors said Wednesday proving those kinds of cases aren't always cut and dry.

"Because there aren't the levels we have with alcohol, because sometimes it's not picked up in tests, it can make it a more difficult case to prove," said District Attorney Dan May.

With respect to prescription drugs, May said in some cases there is other evidence such as warnings printed clearly on the label that could hold up with a jury in court.

"If it's going to affect you, don't drive,” May said. “You are a danger on the roads."

Records posted by the Colorado Department of Transportation show more than 400 people in our state were killed over a five-year period by people who were driving while on drugs, including prescription meds.

Convictions linked to driving under the influence of drugs carries the same penalties as driving while drunk, including jail time and loss of a driver’s license.

Robert Icenogle is due back in court next week. 11 News will stay on top of what happens next.