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Driving Under the Influence of a Drug (DUID)

In California, it is a crime to operate a vehicle while under the influence of either alcohol or drugs (CVC 23152). California law defines drugas any substance, other than alcohol, which can impair an individuals nervous system, muscular system, or brain function. A person is considered under the influence when they are unable to drive in the way a reasonable person, with full possession of his or her faculties, would drive in a similar situation.

You may be charged with Driving Under the Influence of a Drug (DUID) if you were under the influence of any type of drug including prescription drugs (Vicodin), illicit drugs (cocaine, marijuana), or over the counter drugs (sleep aid). Its important to note that even lawfully prescribed drugs can impair you enough to lead to a DUID arrest.

If you are pulled over because an officer has reason to believe you may be under the influence of drugs, a Field Recognition Expert (FRE) will most likely question you. An FRE is specially trained in identifying signs of drug impairment. Additionally, a blood sample will be taken to detect drugs in the system. Unlike an alcohol-related DUI, there is no tolerance threshold for a DUID case.

Defense against a DUID charge

There are a number of effective defense strategies an attorney can utilize to fight a DUID charge. During your consultation at San Diego DUI Attorney, you will be able to explore many possible defenses and determine the specific strategy that will be most beneficial in your situation. Possible defenses against this charge include the following:

  •      The fact that drugs were detected in your system does not necessarily mean that you were impaired or under the influence of a drug while operating a vehicle.
  •      Certain physical manifestations, such as exhaustion, nervousness, or anxiety may have been misdiagnosed as a DUID.
  •      The process of collecting, storing, and analyzing the urine/blood sample may not have been in compliance with California Title 17, which regulates these procedures. 
  •      The reliability of a toxicology screen as a method of determining impairment may be called into question. Typically, a toxicology screen determines which drugs are in your system, but it does not indicate the amount of each drug that is present. The only way to determine the specific amount of a drug present in an individuals blood stream is to perform a quantitative analysis.
  •      Driving behavior is not a comprehensive measure of an individuals impairment. Other factors must also be taken into consideration for the charge to be compelling.

The reliability and accuracy of the police reports made by the arresting officer and the performance of the FRE may be called into question.

Due to the fact that there is no specific threshold to determine what dictates “under the influence,”police officers and other experts must use more subjective methods to make a conclusion. The reliability of their accounts can be challenged in court.

Contact our office today at 619-535-7150 for a FREE DUID consultation.

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