Drugged Driving

Although the drug laws in California have been modified to make the personal possession of drugs a simple infraction, if law enforcement suspects you are driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs (DUID), you may be subject to a DUID charge and subsequent prosecution similar to that which occurs with a DUI alcohol charge. In such a case, it is imperative to have the services of a drugged driving lawyer on your side.

If you’ve been charged with a DUID in California, a skilled drug DUI attorney can assist you and help mitigate the potential consequences you are facing. At Spolin Law P.C., we have the experience to develop a defense on your behalf that puts you in position for the most favorable outcome possible. To arrange a free consultation about your case with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer, call us today at (310) 424-5816 or send us an email through our contact form.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) – VC 23152(e)

Under California Vehicle Code 23152, it is illegal to drive a vehicle when:

  • You do so under the influence of any drug
  • You do so under the influence of drugs and alcohol simultaneously
  • You have an addiction to the use of any drug and also do not participate in a treatment program approved by the state

Drugs are defined in California as any substance (other than alcohol) that has the potential to interfere with the normal operation of your brain, nervous system, or muscles. Both legal and illegal drugs may be included.

The term “under the influence” according to California law refers to impairment by a substance such that it prevents you from exercising the same caution you normally would when sober. Unlike the estimation of blood alcohol content (BAC) with a DUI charge, no legal limit exists for the amount of drugs required to be present in your system in order to incur a DUID charge – even a small quantity detected from a blood tests can serve as the basis for a charge. Law enforcement will often use a drug recognition expert (DRE) to evaluate you for signs of drug use, and if deemed appropriate, use the results to build a case against you.

A DUID conviction in connection with California’s driving while high laws can leave you with possible jail time, substantial fines, a permanent criminal record, and other negative long term consequences. An experienced California drugged driving attorney can fight to mitigate these consequences on your behalf.

Implied Consent and Blood Testing

Obtaining a driver’s license in California places you under the doctrine of “implied consent.” This means you automatically agree to submit to breath or blood testing if you’re arrested for a DUI or DUID. If you refuse such testing, the consequences can include the suspension of your driver’s license.

In certain cases, law enforcement may obtain a warrant to forcibly draw blood from you. This may occur if you were in an accident due to driving under the influence of drugs, or if you became unconscious in the wake of the accident.

Penalties for DUID in California

In many cases, a DUID in California is charged as a criminal misdemeanor for first, second, and third convictions. An experienced California drugged driving lawyer may be able to reduce a portion, or potentially your entire sentence to probation and/or community service. However, if you have multiple past DUI or DUID convictions, you may not be able to avoid some jail time.

The penalties for drugged driving in California are as follows:

First Offense

  • Maximum six months in jail
  • Minimum $390 fine
  • Driver’s license suspension for six months
  • Possible probation instead of jail sentence requirement to complete a DUI program

Second Offense Within 10 Years

  • 90 days to one year in jail
  • Minimum $390 fine
  • Driver’s license suspension for two years
  • Completion of DUI program
  • Possible probation, but a few days in jail required under VC 23542

Third Offense Within 10 Years

  • 120 days to one year in jail
  • Minimum $390 fine
  • Driver’s license suspension for three years
  • Complete minimum of 30 months in a DUI program
  • Three-year designation as a habitual traffic offender
  • Possible probation, but some jail time required

Fourth or Successive Offense Within 10 Years

  • Possible felony penalties that include as much as three years of incarceration
  • Minimum $390 fine
  • Driver’s license suspension for four years
  • Three-year designation as a habitual traffic offender

Past Felony DUI

If you’ve been convicted within the prior 10 years of a felony DUI, you may face the following penalties for your new DUI conviction:

  • Maximum one year in jail
  • Minimum $390 fine
  • Driver’s license suspension or revocation for four years
  • Three-year designation as a habitual traffic offender

With any driver’s license suspension or revocation, you will be responsible to pay required fines and reinstatement fees. Other conditions to gain back your license could include the installation of an ignition airlock device on your vehicle, providing proof of car insurance, and completion of a state acceptable DUI program. A skilled California drugged driving attorney can provide you with tailored legal counsel to help you move through the process of meeting the conditions of the state.

Contact a Skilled California Drugged Driving Attorney

If you are up against a DUID charge in California, an experienced DUI drugs attorney can evaluate the circumstances of your case and develop a strategic defense to help reduce or eliminate the potential consequences you are facing. At Spolin Law P.C., we can fight aggressively on your behalf with intelligent advocacy to meet this goal.

Call us today at (310) 424-5816 or send us a message through our contact form to set up a free initial consultation.