Defending DUI and Drugs Cases
It is an offense in California to drive under the influence of drugs. Driving under the influence of illegal drugs can result in a DUI Prosecution as well as additional charges of possession of drugs or being under the influence of drugs pursuant to the Health and Safety Code. However, driving while impaired through medication can also result in a DUI charge. The presence of a prescription for the medication is no defense. Likewise, a doctor's opinion about the patients ability to drive safely on the medication in question is no automatic defense. Police Officers. Prosecutors, Judges and most importantly, Jurors, may not agree with the doctor's opinion.
Common medication may result in impairment, including Vicodin or other pain medication, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication.
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 merely tests the sample for the presence of drugs only and Prosecutors rely on a positive test. Toxicologists retained by the defense may test the sample for the amount of drugs in an effort to convince the Court that there is 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 a DUI attorney supported by a toxicologist.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Los Angeles or Orange County and the allegation is based on drugs or medication, consult with experienced DUI Lawyers, Gold & Witham. Jeffrey Gold and Nigel Witham have many years of experience defending drug-related DUI's and associated Health and Safety Code charges and are supported by an experienced toxicologist, Henry S. Greenberg.