California Vehicle Code §23152(a) regulates Driving under the Influence of drugs (DUID). This same section also makes it unlawful to be driving under the influence of alcohol. Despite being charged under the same section, both types of cases invoke different arguments and defenses.
Someone is considered to be intoxicated for purposes of a DUI if their Blood Alcohol Level is .08% of higher. This is a objective test and a reading is obtained through the use of simple blood, breath and urine tests. In contrast, there is no objective test for a DUID.
When stopped under the suspicion of a DUID an officer will check for several different subjective signs to include in their report and support their allegation that a person was under the influence of drugs. They will observe your general behavior, and check your pulse and heart rate.
Additionally, they may ask you to complete a horizontal or vertical gaze nystagmus test. A gaze nystagmus test asks a person to follow an object with their eyes only, and not moving their head. It checks for involuntary jerking movements of the eye, which can be indicative of certain drug use. An officer will also ask the person to complete a series of Field Sobriety Tests like walking in a straight line, Finger to Nose, or a balance test. A urine test is also generally asked to be completed.
The results of any tests administered, or questions asked during an arrest will then be stated on the officer’s arrest report. Prosecution will use the specific facts of the case to prepare their argument and to prove in court that the driver was under the influence of drugs.
An experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney has handled thousands of DUID cases. They are aware of the type of arguments Prosecution will make, and have powerful defenses ready to use in their client’s favor. Due to the fact that a DUID case must be proven through the use of facts, there is much room for negotiation. A knowledgeable Criminal Defense attorney will present the facts in a light most favorable to their client, casting doubt on any claims made my Prosecution and weakening their case.