Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID)
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID)
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, referred to as DUID, is an increasing safety concern. Prosecutors and law makers in the State of California believe that there are actually more people Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID), than alcohol DUI drivers.
As a result, there has been a push to have better testing methods for breath, blood, and urine tests, and better drug recognition and evaluation (DRE) training for law enforcement, to try to catch people Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID).
Marijuana DUI cases: Since marijuana became legal in California in 2016, the State of California expects that marijuana DUI cases will rise, as they have in other states, and wants to be prepared and have officers trained to arrest people driving under the influence of marijuana, along with other drugs.
What are the Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) Laws?
There are two main laws that are used to prove DUI, both being part of California Vehicle Code section 23152.
California Vehicle Code VC 23152(e) reads: “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.”
California Vehicle Code VC 23152(f) reads: “It is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle.”
Note that there is not a legal limit in either law. Being “under the influence” of a drug in your system, alone or combined with alcohol, is all that is required to prove a DUI case under these laws.
What is required to prove a Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) case?
California has a Jury Instruction, number 2110, that sets forth what is required to prove a DUI Drugs case. It states as follows:
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:
1. The defendant drove a vehicle;
2. When (he/she) drove, the defendant was under the influence of (an alcoholic beverage/ [or] a drug) [or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and a drug].
A person is under the influence if, as a result of drinking or consuming an alcoholic beverage and/or taking a drug, his or her mental or physical abilities are so impaired that he or she is no longer able to drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances.
As you can see, the law has both the requirement of proving driving and being under the influence. The jury instruction also contains the definition for what constitutes driving under the influence.
What is the punishment for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID)?
Like alcohol DUI cases, punishment for Drug DUI cases has a minimum and a maximum. Most DUI cases are filed as a misdemeanor, which has the following required sentence:
- Three years minimum informal probation;
- Fines and fees totaling around $2,000; and
- Attendance at a mandatory alcohol school.
If the case involves an accident or involves minors, or if there are priors, the sentence could go higher and could include jail time.
Felony DUI under the Influence of Drugs
If there are more than three priors, or if there was an accident with serious injury, the case could be filed as a felony DUI, which is much more serious.
What are the defenses to Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID)?
Defenses to a Driving Under the Influence of Drugs case usually involve two areas:
- The driving and stop by police; and
- Testing of blood or urine to detect drugs.
Driving and Stop by Police:
The police must show that they had valid probable cause for a DUI arrest, at the DMV, and in court, if challenged.
As you can see by the legal requirements above, the prosecution also has the burden of proof to show that driving was proven. In some cases, that may be an issue.
DUI Drug testing issues:
There do not exist, yet, any certified breath testing machines that test for drugs. Police must collect urine or blood to test for a variety of drugs. Both urine and blood tests must comply with the California laws that set how drug testing must take place.
Collection issues, such as contamination, or degradation of samples, or timing issues, might be a problem. Chain of custody problems often exist. And samples must be kept for the defense to retest to see if there are any problems.
Drug Impairment Issues
Since the prosecution has to prove that you were actually under the influence, but there is no legal limit for most of the drugs or narcotics that are illegal to drive under, they also must prove that you were impaired. Impairment is an issue that can often be argued based on the facts, including driving, and performance on field sobriety tests as part of the DUI arrest.
How can a DUI defense attorney help with a Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) case?
An experienced Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) attorney can examine each of those issues, and any issues unique to a case, and can present all defenses, towards protecting you against charges of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs. Our office has experience in challenging DUI Drug cases in Orange County.
Contact our Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) Attorneys Today.
Our law firm has special training, education, and experience in Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) cases. Contact our firm today for help with your case.