Do You Need a DUI Drugs Lawyer? We Can Help
DUI Drugs Lawyers San Diego
In San Diego, it is against the law to drive under the influence (DUI) of any drug, regardless of whether the drug is legal, illegal, lawfully prescribed or available over the counter. The main consideration in a San Diego DUI drugs case is not whether the drug is legal, but whether it can impair your driving. Consider this: Tylenol PM makes you drowsy. If you take Tylenol PM and the medicine impairs your driving, you could be arrested for and charged with DUI drugs, even though the medicine is legal and readily available over the counter. If you or a loved one is facing DUI drugs charges in San Diego or the surrounding areas, your first course of action should be to contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer to represent your case. At Sevens Legal, APC, our defense attorneys have experience in all areas of DUI defense, including DUI drugs, DUI with injury, felony DUI and misdemeanor DUI, and we can help you get the best possible outcome in your San Diego DUI case. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free initial DUI drugs consultation.
Hiring a Reputable DUI Drugs Lawyer
San Diego DUI Drugs Offenses
California Vehicle Code § 23152 VC
California Vehicle Code § 23152 VC is the law that makes it a crime to drive under the influence of drugs, under the combined influence of drugs and alcohol, or while addicted to any drug, unless the driver is participating in an approved narcotic treatment program. For the purposes of VC § 23152, a “drug” is defined as:
“a substance or combination of substances, other than alcohol, that could so affect the nervous system, brain, or muscles of a person that it would appreciably impair his or her ability to drive as an ordinarily cautious person, in full possession of his or her faculties and using reasonable care, would drive under similar circumstances.”
This law covers any drug, whether illegal, prescription or over-the-counter (VC § 23152 (f)), or a combination of any drug and alcohol (VC § 23152 (g)), that can impair a person’s ability to drive, even if the drug is necessary for the driver’s health. Drugs commonly implicated in DUI drugs cases in San Diego include the following:
- Illegal drugs, such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine,
- Legal drugs, such as marijuana,
- Prescription drugs, such as Ambien, Vicodin (hydrocodone) and Oxycontin (oxycodone), and
- Over-the-counter medications, such as cold medications and antihistamines.
It is also a crime for a person who is “addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle,” pursuant to VC § 23152 (c).
What Happens During a DUI Drugs Investigation?
- Ask you questions about your drinking or drug use,
- Look for physical symptoms of intoxication or impairment,
- Ask you to take a breathalyzer test,
- Ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests,
- Ask you to submit to a mouth swab test to determine whether there are drugs in your system, and/or
- Look to see if there are any visible drugs or drug paraphernalia in your car.
12-Part DUI Evaluation
If your BAC is below the legal limit of 0.08%, but you still appear intoxicated or impaired, the officer may suspect that you are under the influence of drugs and call in a drug recognition expert (DRE) to evaluate you. DREs are law enforcement officers who specialize in identifying when someone is under the influence of drugs, and once the DRE arrives on the scene, he or she will take over the DUI investigation. This includes a 12-part evaluation that involves the following components:
- Confirming that your BAC does not indicate alcohol impairment
- Interviewing the arresting officer
- Checking for physical symptoms of drug use, including:
- Pupil size
- Pulse rate
- Track marks
- Muscle tone
- Traces of drugs in the mouth or nostrils
- Conducting an eye tracking exam
- Re-administering field sobriety tests
- Asking you about any drug use
- Asking you to submit to a blood test and/or urine test
The goal of the DRE’s DUI investigation is to form an opinion as to whether drug use is causing your alleged impairment, and if so, what type of drug(s) may be involved. If the DUI investigation indicates that there is probable cause for a DUI drugs arrest and you are taken into police custody, you will be asked to submit to a DUI blood or urine test to determine your level of impairment, if any. This is the case even if you have already taken a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) breathalyzer test. Under California’s “implied consent” law, if the DUI drugs arrest is lawful, you are required to submit to a chemical test or face additional penalties for refusing the test, including an automatic suspension of your driving privileges. If the chemical testing indicates that you are under the influence of drugs, the prosecution can use the test results as evidence against you in your criminal case.
San Diego DUI Drugs Penalties
Misdemeanor DUI Drugs
A misdemeanor DUI drugs conviction in San Diego is punishable by the following potential penalties:
- A possible county jail sentence,
- Fines, court fees and other costs,
- Informal probation,
- Driver’s license suspension, and/or
- DUI school.
Like San Diego DUIs, driving under the influence of drugs is a “priorable” offense, which means the penalties automatically increase with each subsequent DUI or wet reckless conviction.
Felony DUI Drugs
As a felony offense, a DUI drugs conviction is punishable by the following potential penalties:
- A county jail or state prison sentence,
- Formal probation,
- Thousands of dollars in fines,
- Driver’s license suspension or revocation, and/or
- DUI school.
San Diego DUI Drugs Defense
- You drove a vehicle, and
- While driving, you were under the influence of drugs, under the influence of any combination of drugs or alcohol, or addicted to drugs.
Best Defense Strategies for DUI Drugs Charges
Just like in any San Diego DUI case, there are a number of defense strategies your attorney may be able to use to challenge the prosecution’s evidence against you and improve your chances of getting an acquittal in your DUI drugs case, including the following:
- No probable cause
- Miranda violation
- Title 17 violation
- Police misconduct
- Illegal arrest
- Illegal DUI checkpoint
- Illegal search and seizure
- Not under the influence
- Medical condition mimicking drug impairment
- Inaccurate chemical test
How Our Experienced DUI Drugs Lawyers Can Help
Contacting a San Diego DUI Drugs Lawyer Near Me
Our Clients Say
“Samantha Green was great handling my case. She got me from a misdemeanor to a fraction. Im happy with that. She also kept me updated on my case and i never had to call her for an update. I would definitely use her again and recommend her to people.” – Amanda K.
At Sevens Legal, APC we pride ourselves on our commitment to prompt responses to our potential clients and clients. Your case is very important to us and we will respond to you as soon as possible.
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