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Drug DUI

Drug DUI Lawyer in San Diego

CA VC 23152(f) / (g): Diving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID)

In California, state law prohibits driving under the influence (DUI). While DUI allegations may be similar in scope and substance, there are a number of DUI charges under the California Vehicle Code (VC) which criminalize specific acts, and outline serious penalties for those who stand accused.

Two of these are VC 23152(f) and VC 23152(g) – driving under the influence of drugs.

As defined by the law, a drug DUI occurs when a motorist is “under the influence” due to:

  • VC 23152(f) – Taking any drug, whether legal (by prescription or over-the-counter), or illegal; or
  • VC 23152(g) – Taking a combination of any alcohol and drug.

Drugged driving is as serious an offense as any alcohol-related DUI, and can be the basis of more serious felony charges and penalties if other circumstances are involved (i.e. priors, accidents, injury, or death). If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs, working with an experienced defense attorney becomes critical to protecting your rights, freedom, and future.

Call (619) 374-1268 to learn more about DUID charges and your options. Premier Criminal Defense serves clients throughout San Diego and the surrounding areas.

Understanding California’s DUI Drugs Law

For the purposes of VC 23152(f) and (g), California defines a “drug” as any substance (or combination of substances, excluding alcohol) which impairs a person’s ability to drive safely. This broad definition means a person can be charged with DUID in connection to nearly any substance, including:

  • Illegal controlled substances (heroin, meth, cocaine, etc.)
  • Marijuana / CBD (with or without medical marijuana card)
  • Prescription medications (including opioid painkillers, benzos, Ambien and sleeping pills, and any other prescribed drug)
  • Legal OTC (over-the-counter) medications (antihistamines, cold medicine, etc.)

Unlike alcohol DUIs, drug DUIs have no “legal limit” for the amount of drugs at which point a person is said to be intoxicated. This means a driver who has (or is believed to have) consumed any amount of a controlled substance can potentially be charged with driving under the influence of drugs (as well as any person addicted to any drug or who is currently being treated for substance abuse, per California VC 23152 (c)).

Penalties for a misdemeanor DUID include potential jail time, probation, fines and fees, driver’s license suspension, and mandatory DUI education courses. A felony can put more serious prison time on the table.

Possible Defenses Against Drug DUIs

Police and prosecutors have to abide by the rules of law, and must adhere to specific procedures during any investigation or case. You have the right to challenge what they do and say.

Because every case is different, available defense strategies depend on the specific facts of your case. Generally, there are some common challenges and defenses in DUID cases that can help you understand what you’re able to contest. These include:

  • Reasonable suspicion (Did police have sufficient cause to stop and briefly detain you?)
  • Probable cause (Did law enforcement have justification for conducting any search or seizure beyond a temporary, limited investigation?)
  • Field Sobriety Test performance
  • Field breathalyzer (PAS) or chemical test results (including blood tests)
  • Degree of impairment / whether you were “under the influence” of drugs
  • Chain of custody / procedural errors involving blood samples
  • Admissibility of evidence or testimony (including testimony from drug recognition experts)

Depending on the nature of a defense and the overall strategy, challenging the government’s case and ensuring they meet their burden of proof can result in favorable outcomes in a case, such as inadmissible evidence, reduced charges and / or penalties, or dismissals.

A full investigation of the circumstances surrounding your arrest and allegations will be needed to determine your available options.

Call (619) 374-1268 For a FREE Case Evaluation

Premier Criminal Defense represents clients throughout San Diego and beyond in a range of criminal matters, including cases involving misdemeanor and felony DUImultiple DUIs, and drug crimes. Call (619) 374-1268 or contact us online to speak confidentially with a lawyer about your case.

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