California Vehicle Code §23152 is the driving under influence statute, and outlines what is unlawful behavior and grounds for a conviction. The code section states that “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle” and includes “(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”.
The code section has also been recently revised to include 23152(e), which states that “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle”. This recent revision makes it much harder for the driver who is being accused of driving under the influence, and makes the prosecutor’s case much easier. Now, prosecution only has to prove that there are drugs present in the driver’s system. It could be a very minimal amount, and would still qualify for driving under the influence.
Note how the code section does not distinguish between drugs. It does not clarify whether the drug must still have an impact on the driver, or if it can just simply be in the system. For example, if David smokes marijuana on Sunday, and is driving to work on Tuesday. Would he still have grounds to be charged with a DUI when the effects of marijuana have worn off? This is a relatively new addition to the DUI statute.
Experienced Los Angeles DUI attorneys can provide much more insight on how the case would play out, or what evidence or defenses need to be presented. Having a knowledgeable background of not only the criminal law, but also a relationship with the Judges, clerks and Prosecutors helps an attorney determine how to approach a case. If you are being charged with a DUI where the intoxication is based upon use of drugs, it is a good idea to seek the help of a legal professional. There is much gray area when it comes to drugs, as it is more difficult to prove, and is harder to ascertain as to what amount makes a driver unable to operate a vehicle. Furthermore, prescription drugs may also fall under the category of drugs.
Even if you are not using recreational drugs, or intentionally driving while being impaired, it could result in a DUI conviction. This is why it is very important to consult with a Los Angeles Criminal attorney. They have the knowledge and experience to provide you with the guidance that you are looking for and to expertly handle your case so that you are not charged for something without the opportunity to present, and evaluate your case. Proper arguments, evidence and exhibits coupled with legal advice can guide you to determine whether Prosecutors have a strong case against you, or if it is better for you to go trial. It may also be a good option for you to accept a plea bargain, but again, that is a determination better made with the proper legal background, education and experience.