Cocaine DUI - VC 23152

According to California state law (Vehicle Code section23152 (a)), it is illegal to drive while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or a drug. A substantial number of drivers are arrested every year for driving under the influence of drugs, including cocaine. Symptoms of cocaine use are different from those that come with alcohol. For example, common signs of cocaine use include overconfidence/overexcitement, dilated pupils, or frequent sniffling.

Just like alcohol, Cocaine can impair your ability to drive safely. An officer might pull you over if they suspect that you may be driving under influence and order you to take a BAC test.

If you test negative for alcohol, the officers, depending on your presentation might take you through more tests to check if you are under influence of other drugs. For example, field sobriety tests may also be administered based on certain cues that you may be intoxicated include dilated eyes or your behavior. Based on your performance, the officer will determine whether or not you admit signs of intoxication. The officer may look for certain indicators such as an inability to keep balance or follow simple instructions. However, there are other reasons for failing the tests including having a certain medical condition or even wearing contact lenses, which could affect the HGN test results. This test, otherwise known as the horizontal gaze nystagmus, is a jerking of the eyeball that happens when the eyes are rotated at high peripheral angles. Officers can see if someone is under the influence if the jerking is less rapid and excessive. The officer will ask the operator of the vehicle to use their eyes to follow a moving object from side to side.

Penalties for DUI Cocaine include:
  • Suspension of your driving license
  • A fine
  • A compulsory attendance and completion of an alcohol/drug program
  • A possible jail term
  • Probation from 3 to 5 years

Driving under the influence of drugs can either result in a misdemeanor or felony. While driving under the influence of drugs is usually considered a misdemeanor, it can sometimes be charged as a felony when it is the operator of the vehicle’s fourth DUI offense, if it caused an injury to a third part, or if they have a prior felony DUI conviction.

Defenses

You may be able to interpose defenses that you would also use in other types of DUI cases. For example, you may argued the stop was unlawful, the arrest was wrong, or involuntary intoxication. Involuntary intoxication is when someone has not taken a substance on their own will and is misled into doing so. Involuntarily consuming a drug is a defense of criminal liability due to its ability to render the individual unable to understand the consequences or the nature of their actions. In addition, the officer must have probable cause to stop the operator of the vehicle in believing that they have committed a traffic violation or possess probable reasons to believe that they may be violating the law.

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