DUI and Drugs
Orange County DUID Lawyer
According to the California Vehicle Code, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if you are impaired by alcohol or drugs. Whether those drugs are legal or illegal is irrelevant. Many individuals have been arrested for DUI even though they only had legal prescription drugs in their system. The truth is, law enforcement may be able to scientifically test whether there is or isn't a drug in someone's system, but there is no quantifiable way to measure whether or not that drug is what caused the accident. With driving under the influence of alcohol, the percentage of blood alcohol concentration at which point a person is considered intoxicated in 0.08 percent. There is no such number when it comes to drugs.
While this fact can help build a strong defense in your case, alone it may not be enough. Drivers should be extremely careful with the prescription drugs that they take. Even if you have a valid prescription for a drug, it may have contributed to reckless driving or even an accident. If you have been arrested, it is your job, with the help of an Orange County DUI attorney, to prove that the drug or drugs in question did not alter your driving. There are many factors both internal and external that can affect driving. For example, being tired can cause driving patterns similar to those of an intoxicated person. Distractions such as talking to passengers in the vehicle could also warrant being pulled over by law enforcement.
Defenses Against DUI of Drugs Charges
Some common drugs individuals incur DUI arrests for are opioids (Vicodin and other pain relievers), antidepressants (Xanax) and stimulants (such as ADHD medication). Having a legitimate prescription for these drugs can prove very valuable when it comes to your defense. Your DUI case may be geared at determining whether or not you willfully endangered the lives of others on the road by your use of the drug. If you were simply taking the drug as prescribed and found it necessary to drive, then your charges may be dropped.
There may have been another cause for the reckless driving such as discussed earlier like exhaustion, distraction, poor weather conditions and more. It is also important to remember that the same type of drug can affect people very differently. While an opiate prescribed to treat pain might make one person dizzy, it may have no significant effects on another person. Another possible defense is an unlawful police stop. Law enforcement must have a reason in order to pull you over. An example might be that they witnessed irregular driving (swerving, excessively low speed, etc.) or the lights on the vehicle may have been out. Whatever the case, there must have been a legitimate reason to pull you over, or else this could constitute an unlawful "search" (conducting field sobriety tests or searching your vehicle).
Call The Law Office of Bruce C. Bridgman
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer Bruce C. Bridgman can help you fight to get your charges dismissed or reduced to a minor infraction such as reckless driving. These types of cases can be complex and involve analyzing chemical breath, blood or urine tests to determine the validity of the arrest. To learn more about how this firm can help defend you against penalties such as license suspension, imprisonment, fines, vehicle impoundment and more, call today!