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California's Drugged Driving Laws

Under California’s laws, it is strictly illegal for someone to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence or impaired by any sort of drug, medication, or narcotic. It is also illegal for someone who is known to be addicted to drugs to use a vehicle, even if they are not currently taking any drug. When it is said that this criminal violation can be triggered by any drug, it really does mean any, from prescription medications to over-the-counter flu medicine to cocaine to marijuana. If you think this sounds far too generalized to actually be considered a law, you may be surprised when you read on, and you might want to start dialing our Santa Rosa DUI and drug crime defense lawyer now.

No Standardized Drug Testing Methods in California

When someone is pulled over for a DUI, they might be asked to take a breath test to produce a blood alcohol content (BAC) level reading there. In other situations, they may be cuffed and brought to the station for chemical testing that is allegedly more accurate. While these alcohol tests are controversial and typically unreliable, at least they exist and set a recognizable legal limit.

When it comes to DUID (driving under the impairment of drugs) in California, there is no such thing as a blood test standard. The police can place charges if any amount, even the slightest trace, of a drug is in the driver’s system according to any sort of blood test. Determining whether or not this drug impaired them is then entirely up to the discretion of the police and, ultimately, the prosecutor who takes the case. This clearly leaves the defendant at a distinct disadvantage, as no amount of scientific evidence of their sobriety can immediately clear their name.

Don’t Refuse the Test, Do Seek Help

Drivers in California are subjected to the implied consent rule whenever they drive on a public roadway or highway, and this rule extends to drugged driving. If you refuse to take a mandatory chemical test following a DUID arrest, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended by the DMV. What may be worse is that your refusal to take the test can actually be used as evidence against you in any subsequent trials and construed to show an unspoken “admission of guilt.”

Rather than wondering what you should do next to protect yourself, get the answers you need and gain the confidence required to stand up for yourself by calling 707.418.5352 and speaking to the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. For more than a decade, we have been the criminal defense law firm the people of Sonoma County has trusted with their most intricate and sensitive legal cases. Contact our Santa Rosa DUI attorney today to schedule a free case analysis.