sCalifornia Vehicle Code §23152 and §23153 states that it is unlawful for a “person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.”
When a person is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, officers are able to more readily ascertain whether they are under the influence from observations and scientific data. For example, if a person is under the influence of alcohol they may be asked to submit to a breathalyzer. The breathalyzer will return back the amount of alcohol that is present in the driver’s system. Even the slightest amount will let the officer know that the person has, in fact, been drinking.
An officer can also use subjective observations to build the case that a driver is under the influence of alcohol. For example, a person will have slurred speech, they may have watery eyes, and they may give off the strong odor of alcohol.s
Based on both the scientific data and their personal observations, officers can build a case against a driver for being under the influence. It is not quite as simple when a driver is under the influence of cocaine while operating a vehicle.
Driving a car under the influence of cocaine is still unlawful under California Vehicle Codes §§23152 and 23153. It is, however, harder to determine because all officers have is subjective observations.
Cocaine reaches its peak effects after about fifteen minutes of having been smoked or injected. It lasts in a person’s system for about 12 hours. This means that cocaine may be detected in a person’s system through a blood test hours after its effects have already worn off. If the person is no longer affected by the drug, they are not impaired and are able to operate a vehicle. It is difficult for scientific evidence to be gathered when a person is under the use of cocaine, because it does not accurate provide that the person was too impaired to drive.
Officers must rely upon their observations alone to make a case. A person under the influence of cocaine will generally exhibit a hyperactive personality. They are restless and overactive. They often have dilated eyes and a runny or bloody nose.
Because officers must rely on subjective evidence and observations to build a case against a driver, an experienced Los Angeles DUI Attorney has the ability to prepare a strong case against that of the Prosecutors. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, be sure to consult a professional. There may be many defenses and arguments available to you that an attorney can use to ensure that your case is dismissed or reduced.