Under California Vehicle Code §23152, a person who is intoxicated and operating a vehicle can be found guilty of a DUI. Intoxication can arise from either alcohol, drugs or both. Recent changes to the legislation state that a person can be prosecuted for having any amount of drugs in their system. This does not just include recreational drugs, but can also include prescription drugs if they cause a person to be impaired.
When a person is charged with DUI based upon the suspicion on alcohol, there are many different types of evidence that may be presented by the Prosecutors. Of course, like all criminal cases, there are available defenses. The evidence presented is blood alcohol content as read by a breathalyzer, or blood test. These are numbers, numerical quantities, and the statute itself outlines exactly what amount will be demonstrate that a person is impaired. Drugs, however, are a different story.
With drugs there is no specific articulate way to determine whether a person is impaired due to the drugs, whether there is an impact on their ability to operate a vehicle, and how much of a drug can impair a person. What if a person smoked marijuana a few days prior and were then stopped while driving. If this is the case, they are no under the influence, nor are they impaired, but it is still in their system. Does that make it viable for a person to be charged with a DUI? They are not a threat to the safety of others.