Recent Changes to Los Angeles DUI Law – Part 3

In recent times, the legislature has revised the statute pertaining to the use of drugs while operating a vehicle. The statute used to be very simple and simply included that it was unlawful to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, since January 1, 2014, they legislature added specific sections referring to drugs alone. In their revision they made a very significant and important change. The revised law requires an in depth discussion to understand how it can affect you or your case if you have recently been arrested for suspicion of a DUI.

California Vehicle Code Subsection (c ) reads as follows:

(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 approved pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 11875) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

This is incredibly important, as nothing pertaining to this section used to exist prior to January 1, 2014. This makes it unlawful for any addict to drive a vehicle. The DMV has full reign to suspend or revoke a license indefinitely, just by merely proving that a person is an addict. As noted, it does not include those that are participating in a program as part of a sentence or rehabilitation.

As discussed earlier, drugs and alcohol used to be combined but now it stands separated. California Vehicle Code ยง23152 (e) reads as follows:

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

The statute does not specify any guideline measurements that would define as being under the influence of a drug. This is because it is difficult to ascertain exactly when a person is under the influence.

And for good measure, the legislature includes as it did previously the catch all provision as follows:

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

If you have been arrested for the suspicion of a DUI while you were under the influence of drugs, it can be a difficult case to argue. However, in some instances it can be easier than a case in which a person has been stopped for consuming alcoholic beverages while driving. This is due to the fact that it is harder to prove that a person has been under the influence of drugs, than it is to prove alcohol. Due to this fact, you could have a strong case in which your charge may be reduced or dismissed. Speak to a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer today to learn the difference strengths and weaknesses of your case!