Drug DUI in California

When you are in California, driving under the influence of drugs is considered a DUI. Driving under the influence of alcohol is the same as driving under the influence of drugs. The penalties for drugs and alcohol are also the same but it will vary depending on which substances were consumed.

Many people think that illegal drugs are the only type of drug that would be considered under a DUI but it also includes controlled substances, legal drugs with a prescription, and legal drugs sold over the counter.

If the drug has created an abnormal mental or physical condition that affects the nervous system, brain, or muscles of a person then it counts as a drug in California. This means nearly any drug you consume counts as driving under the influence.

Just as we mentioned earlier, some penalties of driving under the influence of drugs will vary depending on which substances were consumed. Continue reading on this page to learn about the differences of the drugs considered for a DUI.

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Photo of marijuana drug next to keys to a car

Marijuana is the most used drug in California making it the most common drug involved in a drug DUI. Many users are now in possession of a prescription so the cases have become more complex. You can still be arrested for using Marijuana for valid medical reasons.

Although Marijuana may be legal in some states, it is still considered driving under the influence because it shows definite signs of impairment just like alcohol. Unlike alcohol, there isn’t a legal limit for Marijuana but possessing it when pulled over doesn’t mean you were impaired.

Chemical tests will be made for results of how much marijuana is in your system. When the chemical test results come back, you can fight your case that it didn’t affect your driving. Unfortunately, any amount of marijuana found in your urine sample could be enough for a conviction.

Other Illegal Drugs

Other drugs considered a DUI drug are cocaine, meth, crack, ecstasy and many others. Chemical tests such as blood or urine will be given to the individual and once results come back any amount would be used against them.

Although all drugs are treated the same they all have different effects on a person. A person who has consumed cocaine would definitely have different effects than a person who has consumed ecstasy. Abrate & Olsen Law group has done their research on each individual drug. Knowing the side-effects of each drug and understanding how it affects a person can help your defense.

Legal Drugs

Prescription medicine and even medicine sold over the counter can count as a drug DUI. Unlike illegal drugs, all medicines are not viewed as the same. Medicine such as Advil will be viewed differently than Adderall and Xanax even with a prescription because they cause impairment.

Medicines considered a drug DUI include:

  • Anxiety pills
  • Cough Syrup
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Nighttime medication
  • Prescription painkillers
  • Medication that causes drowsiness

When tests results come back and it turns out that a prescription medicine was consumed then they would go ahead and charge that as a DUI. They are looking for a reason to blame but we can fight against that. Abrate & Olsen Law Group suggests that you speak to a lawyer immediately finding the best top defenses depending on the drug. We always work to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your case.

Penalties for Drug DUI

Although the charges for a DUI under the influence of alcohol and drugs are the same the penalties could worsen if drugs are involved. When these penalties are stacked among each other, your sentence could severe.

If any hard drugs listed in the California Health and Safety Code 11550 were involved, you will be charged with illegal drug use added on to your DUI charge. You could also be prosecuted for being under the influence of drugs. You will be charged, if illegal drugs such as meth, cocaine, and many more are found in your possession when being pulled over.

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