Driving Under the influence of Drugs in California

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Most people don’t realize that driving under the influence of drugs, even completely legal, over the counter drugs, can result in arrest and conviction of driving under the influence.The key element that must be proved to be convicted of a DUI is that the driver suffers a physical or mental impairment such that he or she cannot drive with the same caution that would be exhibited by a sober person. This means it is possible to be convicted for driving under the influence of cocaine, marijuana, cold medicine, or even coffee!

A common mistake many people believe is that they cannot be convicted of a DUI for being under the influence of a drug prescribed by a doctor. A prescription is no defense, and the cost of that mistake can have severe consequences.

Unlike driving under the influence of alcohol cases, there is no numerical limit like “.08%” when determining impairment for drugs. This can lead to trouble: a police officer’s judgment and field sobriety tests may be the key evidence against a person in a DUI drugs case. If a person is only slightly stoned but has, shall we say, a unique personality, it may lead the officer to believe he or she is far more impaired then they actually are.

Another difference between drugs and alcohol DUIs is the manner in which you may be chemically tested. If you are arrested for a DUI alcohol, you MUST submit to either a breath or blood test. If you are arrested for a DUI drugs, you MUST submit to either a blood or urine test. Remember, however, that you NEVER have to submit to any test before you are arrested.

If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, it is important to remain calm and act as normal as possible. Do not admit that you have taken any legal or illegal drug, even if you have a prescription. Anything you say can and will be used against you! If you have not had any alcohol, consent to a breath test.

But perhaps the best advice you can get? Don’t drive if you are unable to do safely! However, if you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs, you should contact criminal defense attorney Scott R. Ball today. A consultation is always free and completely confidential.


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