Drugged Driving

Drugged Driving (DUID) in Ventura

Ventura DUI Attorney

If you've been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, a Ventura DUI attorney from Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP can help you understand your legal rights and options. After an arrest, you may feel like the evidence is stacked against you, but you don't have to face this challenge alone. At the firm, we are committed to giving each case the personalized care and attention to detail that it deserves. If you've been arrested for a crime that you know you didn't commit, you still need a high-quality defense attorney on your side. If convicted, you will be subject to the same penalties as anyone else.

Call our office today to see what an attorney from the firm can do for your drugged driving case.

What is drugged driving?

You might assume that the term "driving under the influence" refers to alcohol. In reality, DUI refers to operating a vehicle under the influence of other substances, too. For example, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with certain prescription drugs in your system. DUI that involves any type of illegal or controlled substance is illegal as well. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), drugged driving is a fairly recent threat to the safety of American roadways. Within the past 25 years, the United States Government has come to understand the dangers or drunk driving. Today, the U.S. has launched a multifaceted effort to eliminate all forms of DUI – including drugged driving.

According to research, drugged driving can be dangerous. The NIH reports that drugs impair the brain's ability to control mental and physical functions associated with driving. For example, some drugs may cause the driver to act aggressively and others may cause the driver to lose their depth perception or reaction time. Although each drug distorts the driver's perception of reality in a slightly different way, the principal concern with driving under the influence of any drug remains the same:

  • The safety of innocent motorists
  • Passengers
  • Pedestrians
  • Bicyclists
  • Bystanders

Unfortunately, the laws associated with drugged driving are far less comprehensive than drunk driving laws. Because of this, drugged driving cases can become extremely complex.

Drugged Driving and the Law

Although policy officials and public health officials acknowledge the dangers of drugged driving, relatively little technological advancement have been made to help law enforcement make fair and successful drugged driving arrests. For instance, impaired motorists can be arrested for drunk driving if they fail a breathalyzer test. On the other hand, law enforcement has failed to produce a tool that can accurately determine whether or not an individual is operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs. Why? Although drugs are often detectible in an individual's bloodstream, saliva or urine, the presence of a controlled substance in your body does not necessarily mean that you are impaired. Marijuana, for example, can be detected in the body for nearly two weeks after use. Because of this, some states allow law enforcement officers to arrest drivers with any detectible trace of an illegal drug in their system.

California Drugged Driving Laws

According CA VC §23152(a), it is illegal for an individual to operate a vehicle under the influence of any drug or alcoholic beverage. The law also indicates that it is illegal for an individual to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the same time. CA VC§23152(c), prohibits any individual from driving a motor vehicle while addicted to any illegal or controlled drug. However, you may not be convicted of drugged driving if you are currently enrolled and participating in a narcotic treatment program. This possible defense is upheld by Health and Safety Code §23152 (c).

Implied consent laws apply to drugged driving cases as well. If a police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence of drugs, you are obligated to submit to a blood or urine test to determine whether or not you are driving under the influence.

In California, drugged driving is called DUID and is punishable by a variety of penalties. If convicted of DUID in California, you may be subject to six months in a county jail and a fine between $390 and $1,000. However, aggravated circumstanc es (such as bodily harm) may enhance these penalties.

If convicted of drugged driving again within ten years, you may be subject to 1 year of incarceration in a county jail and another $390 - $1,000 fine. Third offenses are subject to $1,000 fines and three years of imprisonment. Third and subsequent convictions can result in "habitual offender" classification and license revocation. If your arrest is associated with an injury, you may be subject to harsher penalties. For example, injury-related DUID is punishable by mandatory license suspension and revocation after the first and second offense.

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