Unlike alcohol, for drugs, there is no legal, agreed-upon limit of impairment. Some states have passed "per se" laws which mean it is illegal to operate a vehicle with any trace of a prohibited drug in one's system. Other states merely define drugged driving (DUID) as whenever a drug causes a driver to be "incapable of driving safely." According to California's standards "impaired" means, "A drug must be capable of affecting the nervous system, brain, or muscles of an individual as to impair, to an appreciable degree, his or her ability to drive a vehicle in the manner that any ordinarily prudent and cautious person, in full possession of his faculties, using reasonable care, would drive a similar vehicle under like conditions."
In recent years, more laws have been taking harder measures against individuals caught driving while under the influence of drugs. Many states are now training police officers to be drug recognition experts. An individual can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs, whether he has taken an illegal drug or a legal drug prescribed by a physician. The differences between an alcohol DUI and a DUI of drugs charge is that unlike with an alcohol DUI, there is no blood alcohol content to determine whether or not a person was "under the influence." Furthermore, a driver is not typically given a breath test, but instead is administered a blood test (or in a small minority of cases, a urine test). If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, then speak with a Rancho Cucamonga DUI lawyer at our firm without delay.
In California, sometimes a Drug Recognition Expert is brought in to make observations and later testifies in court against the suspect. Unlike with an alcohol DUI, the DMV cannot suspend a driver's license. The only exception to this would be if a suspect refused chemical testing. Similar to regular DUI procedures, an officer will determine if a suspect is driving under the influence of drugs, by observing your driving pattern, appearance, and your performance in tests. Like an alcohol DUI, DUI of drugs is covered in California Vehicle Code Section 23152a. In the event of a conviction, offenders of DUI of drugs receive penalties comparable to offenders convicted of DUI of alcohol. Some jurisdictions even impose harsher penalties, such as a loss of driving privileges as a consequence from the court.
Contact a DUI attorney from our firm today to schedule your free case evaluation!