How is Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in California Different than Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol?

By: Wallin & Klarich

Anyone who drives while using drugs, either legal or illegal, can be arrested for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). In California, DUID is prosecuted in much the same manner as driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). However, unlike drunk-driving cases, there is no legal limit when it comes to driving under the influence of drugs in California.

The primary issue in any California drug crime DUID case is whether or not the accused motorist meets the legal definition of being under the influence. In a DUID case, “under the influence” is defined as unable to operate a vehicle with the same caution characteristic of a sober person, of ordinary prudence, under the same or similar circumstances. It does not matter if the drug taken is legal or illegal. Even lawfully prescribed medication or medication purchased over-the-counter can result in a DUID charge and conviction.

Like California drunk-driving cases, Prosecutors often use circumstantial evidence when seeking a DUID conviction. Prosecutors will seek to introduce evidence of driving pattern, field sobriety tests, objective symptoms of intoxication, and chemical test results.

Charges alleging driving under the influence of drugs are very serious. An experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney should be contacted immediately to discuss the facts and circumstances surrounding the arrest and potential defenses that may be available. The criminal defense firm of Wallin & Klarich has a long-standing track record and deep understanding of the law pertaining to allegations of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs. If you would like to set up an appointment with one of our attorneys, just call 1-888-280-6839, or visit our website, for more information.

Posted In: Criminal Defense