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DUI & Drugs Crimes in California

Former Police Officer Turned Vista DUI Attorney

In California, a person can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) not only for alcohol but also for drug use. A DUI with drugs, sometimes called a DUID, has no minimum threshold of drugs in the bloodstream to warrant an arrest; that is to say, just a trace amount of a banned drug in your system when behind the wheel constitutes a DUID.

According to California’s Vehicle Code, it is illegal for someone to drive when they are:

  • Under the active influence of any drug.
  • Under the active influence of any drug combined with alcohol.
  • Currently addicted to any drug and not enrolled in a treatment regimen.

When the statute mentions any drug, it does mean any sort of drug, narcotic, or influential substance. Under this law, it is just as illegal to have used marijuana or cocaine as it is to have used a nighttime flu medicine.


Have more questions about DUID in California? Call JD Law at (619) 377-3722 today!


DUID Arrests Rely On Officer Discretion

Due to the fact that any drug can trigger a DUID arrest in California, it is up to the arresting officer to try to determine if you are unlawfully influenced by a substance at the time of being pulled over. Even a dosage of cough syrup could arguably slow your reaction time and constitute a DUID. This system relies entirely on the police officer’s own discretion and better judgement. While this might seem unfair, you should consider that an experienced Vista DUI attorney like Attorney James N. Dicks can use the unscientific methods against the prosecution.

DUI with Drug Testing Refusal

The implied consent law that requires a California motorist to submit to chemical testing for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level measurements also requires submission to drug testing. Refusing to take a chemical test will trigger an automatic license suspension. Unlike many DUI with alcohol cases, a chemical test refusal for a DUI with drugs case can be considered as evidence to use against you in any subsequent trials. Due to the harshness of these consequences, it is recommended that you do not refuse drug testing back at the police station in most situations.

You Deserve a Fair Trial and Strong Defense

A DUID charge will come with potential penalties upon conviction similar to a typical DUI. It will also count as a DUI when looking back on previous convictions, or when future convictions consider California’s lookback period.

Penalties you could face if convicted of DUI with drugs the first time are:

  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • 4 months to 1 year license suspension
  • Around $500 to $800 in additional fees

If you want to do all you can to stop a DUID conviction from weighing you down with numerous and excessive penalties, contact Vista DUI Attorney James N. Dicks of JD Law. You can even schedule a completely free case evaluation to begin.

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James N. Dicks

About James N. Dicks

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