Driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime that most of us associate with alcohol. As anyone who has ever had experience with alcohol knows, the symptoms of alcohol intoxication are easy to spot: problems with balance and coordination, slurred speech, and bloodshot and watery eyes. The familiarity that we have with these symptoms makes DUI cases involving alcohol easy for any prosecutor to explain to a jury.
This is not the case with DUI involving drugs (DUID). California Vehicle Code Section 23152(e) makes it a crime to drive while under the influence of drugs. While that seems simple enough, the truth is that there are countless ways that drugs can affect your ability to drive. This law applies to both legal and illegal drugs, meaning that the number of substances for which you can be prosecuted for driving while under the influence is virtually limitless.
However, unlike alcohol, there is no corresponding “legal limit” that measures the amount of drugs in your blood. With alcohol, there is a presumption that you are intoxicated if your blood-alcohol level exceeds 0.08 percent. This makes prosecution of DUID cases much tougher because the prosecution has less evidence to present to a jury. To secure more convictions, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office now uses special prosecutors who have been trained in drug toxicology to better explain to a jury the effects of the drug for which you are being prosecuted.
The Infinite Range of Drug Impairment
California law defines a “drug” as any substance (other than alcohol) that affects the nervous system, brain or muscular control that impairs, to an appreciable degree, the ability of a person to drive a vehicle in the manner that an ordinary and reasonably careful person would. Taken in high enough doses, even over-the-counter drugs could result in a DUID arrest.
The most common DUI drug cases involve:
- Depressants; and
Each of these drugs may impair your ability to control your vehicle in different ways. In cases where a person is addicted to the drug, and is suffering from withdrawal, the symptoms of withdrawal can also affect the driver, and can also lead to prosecution for driving while addicted to a drug.
A special prosecutor who has studied these drugs will be able to explain the effects of these drugs to a jury, including how quickly they can be absorbed into your system, how long the drug stays in your system, and the effects it would have on you. That is why it is important to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney who can defend you against these charges.
Contact the Orange County DUI Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
A special district attorney with that level of knowledge has a better chance of convincing the jury that you should be punished for driving under the influence of drugs. If you are facing a DUID charge, you will need a defense team that has a deep understanding of the effects of drugs on driving. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully helping clients like you defeat DUID cases in Orange County. We know that these cases are not always easy for a prosecutor to prove, and we know how to fight against evidence of drug-impaired driving. Let us help you now.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is a Wallin & Klarich attorney experienced in DUID defense available near you.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.