Understanding DUI For Drugs In California
In California, a new law quietly went into effect this year. Under the new law, it’s now easier for police to arrest people for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) no matter what substance they have used. Many people arrested for DUI have alcohol in their system, but others are high on other drugs.
What Triggers a Drug-Related DUI Charge?
Police now have the power to test for and recognize controlled substances after administering a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test, a handheld breathalyzer considered highly accurate. This is done to look for alcohol.
If the test results show no alcohol in the driver's system, but the officer sees behaviors or symptoms of substance abuse, they are allowed to arrest the driver under suspicion of Drug-related DUI.
Driving under the influence of drugs is a misdemeanor in California. Punishment can be jail time, suspended license, and probation for up to 3-5 years. Other charges can cause more severe punishment.
How Is a DUI for Drugs Proven?
Drivers are usually subjected to a blood or urine test. Since the law has passed, the tests used by authorities have gotten more accurate. They can help detect the presence of more than fifty substances, including cough syrup, narcotics, and other drugs that can impair drivers.
A person arrested for DUI for drugs may have to see an expert called a drug recognition expert (DRE) at the police station. DRE officers are trained to interview and observe people and discern what kind of substance a person has taken. For example, they may decide that a person has taken opioids if they are nodding out or amphetamines if they are hyper or manic. The DRE can tell the difference between different classes of drugs in general. They will write a report on the arrestee's behavior and other information, such as their statement.
Some people arrested for DUI associated with drugs will also have the substance they used on their person. This can result in additional charges.
Addiction and DUI for Drugs
Many people who struggle with addiction find themselves in legal trouble. Addiction is a progressive disease that can pick apart a person’s life one day at a time.
There is hope! Many people who are in trouble for drug-related charges in California are given the opportunity for diversion or having drug treatment as a part of their sentence. Most people need a lawyer to help them settle the details. In some cases, your insurance may also help pay for your recovery program.
Getting Help for Substance Use Disorder
If you or somebody you love is struggling with substance use, you’re not alone. We offer help for people convicted of DUIs and other drug-related charges. Many judges want you to get help for your substance use. Getting help can also ensure you’re never arrested again. Give us a call at 619-363-4767.