Though DUIs most often involve alcohol, many involve drugs, either alone or in combination with alcohol. These DUID cases differ in crucial ways from DUIs that involve just alcohol and can benefit from representation by a quality attorney. My past experience as a drug enforcement prosecutor and my many years as a Sacramento DUI with drugs defense attorney help me craft an effective defense for my clients facing DUID charges.California Vehicle Code 23152
Citation for DUI involves two criminal charges: California Vehicle Codes 23152 (a) and (b). Section (a) makes it "unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, to drive a vehicle.” Section (b) states that drivers are considered impaired if their blood alcohol level is 0.08% or greater.
Because the law does not specify the amount of a drug that must be present in the blood to be considered under the influence, all DUID cases fall under 23152 (a) alone. That means that conviction of a DUID requires law enforcement to present evidence that the driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle was impaired by the presence of one or more drugs.DUID Involves Both Legal and Illegal Drugs
Arrest for DUID can arise from impairment by both legal and illegal drugs. Law enforcement is not concerned merely with methamphetamines, marijuana, and other narcotics. Prescription and non-prescription medications such as anti-depressants, antibiotics, pain relievers, and any other drug can result in a person being cited for driving under the influence.Building an Effective Defense
I can step in immediately if you are facing DUID charges. Issues that I can argue in your defense include:
- Detection of drugs in your system does not automatically mean that you were driving under the influence. For example, marijuana can show up in blood tests up to 4 weeks after use.
- Medications, particularly when used in combination, can effect coordination and reaction time.
- Emotional distress, fatigue, and injury can all manifest as erratic behavior that looks like DUID.
- Metabolism, weight, and height influence the rate that the intoxicating effects of drugs wear off.
- The circumstances of the pull-over by police - including probable cause and Miranda warnings - can be challenged.
- Police reports - Subsequent to the arrest, the police officer will compile a report that contains evidence pertaining to the case. This will include results of blood tests, observations by the officer, statements by witnesses, video (if the patrol vehicle has that equipment), and other data. I review these reports in detail to find any fact or issue that can bolster my clients' cases.
- Witness statements - Statements made by witnesses can sometimes provide evidence that strengthens the defense's case. My investigators can interview witnesses and go over crime scenes to find this exculpatory evidence.
In many DUID cases, it can prove beneficial to have blood samples retested by an independent laboratory. The lab experts I work with provide data filled reports and if necessary can serve as expert witnesses at trial.
Since most cases do not go to trial but are instead settled through negotiation, it's important to have a defense lawyer on your side who knows the law, takes the time to thoroughly understand the unique aspects of each case, and knows how to push for dismissal of charges. My 20 years of experience - now as a DUI with drugs defense lawyer and before that as a prosecutor in the Sacramento region - allow me to properly analyze each case and fight for my clients' rights.
If the case does go to trial, I will use all of my resources - thorough knowledge of the facts of the case and the relevant law, assistance from my investigators and expert witnesses - to fight for an acquittal. And remember that I handle my own cases. I will not hand your case off to a junior or inexperienced attorney.
Call me at (916) 442-1200 for a free consultation. I will explain in clear terms the options available to you and can begin work immediately on your case.