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Can I be Convicted of a Los Angeles DUI if I was not Under the Influence of Alcohol?

In January 2014, the legislature changed the language in California Vehicle Code §23152 and 23153. California Vehicle Code §23152 is the code section that pertains to misdemeanor DUI charges. The new code section reads as follows:

(a) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.

(b) It is unlawful for a person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.

(c) It is unlawful for a person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle. This subdivision shall not apply to a person who is participating in a narcotic treatment program.

(d) It is unlawful for a person who has 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in Section 15210.

In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving.

(e) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.

(f) It is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle.

The code section now specifically has its own section that specifies that any driver that is under the influence of drugs can be found guilty of a DUI. Being under the influence of drugs is a harder case for prosecutors to prove, and could be a strong argument for a defense attorney.

It is highly recommended that if you find yourself in this situation that you consult a Los Angeles Drug DUI lawyer to assess the different points of your case and to strategize the best possible defense available.

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