Skip to content
2 min read

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.



Read Full Bio
Mark G
Mark Gladden brings both personal and professional experience to his role as co-founder of Present Moments Recovery. Now in long-term recovery himself after struggling with addiction for years, Mark understands firsthand the challenges men face in achieving and maintaining sobriety. It was this insight, combined with a desire to help others, that led Mark to establish Present Moments Recovery.

Get in Touch with Our Caring Team

We are waiting for your call. Don’t hesitate, pick up the phone and dial 619-363-4767 today.

Your first call will be greeted by one of our intake counselors who will be able to provide information on what program would be appropriate for your situation, as well as information about the process of getting treatment at our facility, if appropriate.

If Present Moments is the right fit for your current situation you will be speaking to Admissions Director Mark Gladden, who will be your guide throughout the process of arranging travel and undergoing an initial detox (if necessary). Mark has been the guide for dozens of men and women who have gotten their lives back by entering treatment at Present Moments. He has earned his reputation as being truly dedicated to the recovery of others. Mark will be the one to ‘show you the ropes’ when it comes to admitting to our facility for treatment

Homepage Form

You CAN Achieve Sobriety

We Are Here To Guide You