Drugged Driving Defense in L.A.
Arrested for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID)?
DUI relates not only to charges involving alcohol, but those involving drugs as well. These drugs may be legal or illegal drugs, ranging from cocaine to a prescription drug or even an over-the-counter cold medicine.
Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) is a complex charge that is often subject to ambiguous evidence or opinion in the DUI criminal process. For this reason, it is all the more important to work with a defense attorney experienced in these types of cases.
According to 23152 of the California Vehicle Code:
a) It is unlawful for any 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. (c) It is unlawful for any 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.
An experienced Los Angeles DUID attorney can do the following for you:
- Thoroughly evaluate the circumstances of your arrest;
- Conduct an independent analysis of your blood or urine results; and
- Investigate all the evidence pertaining to your case.
In doing so, they can look for any and all proof that your abilities were not impaired, that your test results were inaccurate, or that your rights were violated.
Charges Involving Drugs & DUI
If law enforcement believes that you are under the influence of a drug that has affected your driving, they are obligated to get you tested to discover if you are driving under the influence. If it is discovered through a blood test that you have drugs in your system—even a legally obtained prescription medication—and if it is believed that those drugs affected your driving, you will be arrested.
This charge is often initially based on the observation of the officer and field sobriety tests conducted. These tests are less than scientific and are more easily challenged.
Drug Recognition Evaluators in DUID Cases
In California, DUID cases hinge upon the ability of the prosecution to prove that the driver was under the influence of drugs and that his or her abilities were impaired. Drug Recognition Evaluators (DREs) are often brought in on DUID cases in order to thoroughly test a driver and determine whether he or she is under the influence of drugs.
The DRE may check the driver’s blood pressure, pulse, pupil size, and will check the arms for recent injection sites. The DRE will also conduct field sobriety tests in a controlled, well-lit environment. Additionally, a blood or urine test will be administered in order to check for the presence of drugs.
No matter the outcome of these specific tests, it is essential to consult a DUID lawyer as soon as possible. If you work with a defense lawyer at Gold & Witham, we will draw upon our decades of experience in this area in order to help you avoid a conviction. We understand that entirely innocent drivers are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs simply because they are tired or nervous, signs which a police officer can mistake for a driver on drugs.
Defending Against DUID Charges in Court
In defending DUI cases based on drugs, it is important to obtain a portion of the blood or urine sample for analysis by a toxicologist. The State often only tests the sample for the presence of drugs, relying on a positive test for conviction.
Toxicologists retained by the defense may test the sample for the amount of drugs in the defendant's system, in an effort to convince the Court that there was only a low amount of medication present, inconsistent with impairment.
With DUI charges based on alcohol, the legal threshold is .08%. It is presumed that a person is impaired at or above this level. However, with drugs, there is no magic number and everyone's tolerance to drugs is different. Impairment or lack thereof is subject to opinion and the evidence must be looked at closely by an experienced attorney.
Gold & Witham: DUID Defense Attorney for Your Case
At Gold & Witham, your attorney has many resources—including their own investigative team to re-evaluate the evidence against you. Our DUI lawyers have over 40 years of combined legal experience, and we have the resources needed to conduct an independent investigation of your case in order to build a strong defense on your behalf.
There is no question that the ability of your lawyer is going to be a crucial factor in whether you are convicted of driving under the influence of drugs. A skilled DUID lawyer at our firm may be just the answer you need.
Contact Gold & Witham today for your free consultation!