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Drugs and DUI

California DUI Stop and Drugs

Driving under the influence in California is not just driving after drinking alcohol. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152, it is unlawful for a person to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both when operating a motor vehicle. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you cannot be charged with DUI if you have not had any alcohol to drink. If your driving is impaired by the use of drugs of any type, you may be pulled over for suspicion of DUI.

The same rules apply to probable cause, whether the impairment to driving is from drugs or alcohol or both. For example, a law enforcement officer may stop you for an expired registration on your car (probable cause) and observe behavior that leads him to believe you may be under the influence of some substance.

What Drugs Can Result In a DUID in California?

For purposes of a DUI investigation, the term "drug" is defined as any substance or combination which could affect the nervous system, brain, or muscles of a person and impairs his or her ability to drive in a way that an ordinary, prudent, and cautious person would using reasonable care. What many people don’t understand about drugs involved in a DUI case is that they may include:

Prescription drugs (medical marijuana, pain medications, opiates) Over-the-counter medications (Benadryl, etc.) Illegal drugs (cocaine, meth, heroin, etc.)

Even though you may have a lawful prescription for Vicodin or medical marijuana, it does not mean you should drive while under the influence of those substances. It is more difficult for a police officer to pinpoint drug use during a DUI stop because alcohol is more transparent. But if the officer suspects drugs are affecting your ability to drive your vehicle safely, he or she may begin an investigation.

Knowledgeable DUI Defense Attorneys Fight For Your Rights

At Hoffman & Associates, we have an extensive track record of successfully defending DUI cases in California. Our 30 years of daily courtroom experience work in your favor because we can craft a skillful defense to a DUI case involving drugs. For example, it may be that you were experiencing exhaustion or anxiety that mimicked the symptoms of drug impairment when you were pulled over. Or perhaps the blood or urine samples taken from you were not handled properly and out of compliance with California laws.

Our skilled DUI defense attorneys practice in courts throughout California and offer a phone or office consultation. To speak with a California DUI expert, give us a call at 323-655-3900 and let us get started on preparing a strong defense to protect your rights.