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Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) in Aliso Viejo

In Aliso Viejo and the rest of California, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs (DUID), according to California Vehicle Code 23152(e). The code describes a DUI as driving under a diminished mental and physical capacity, so that you are not able to drive in what is characterized as a sober or prudent manner under the circumstances.

An example of a DUID would be ingesting marijuana and then getting behind the wheel. Regardless of whether or not it is used for medicinal purposes, if it impairs your driving and the officer can see that, you will be convicted of a DUI. Officers will often look for certain signs that the operator of the car may be intoxicated, such as dilated pupils, traces of drugs, performing field sobriety tests, and analyzing the driver’s behavior.

Complications Proving DUID

Proving a DUID can be complicated since there is a lack of scientific research that can reliably guide the prosecution to build a strong case. Unlike DUI for alcohol, there is no threshold or percentage number (e.g. 0.08% BAC) that can be used to determine a DUID case. A few examples of the drugs included are marijuana, cocaine, heroin, prescription medicines, meth, and even over-the-counter medications.

In essence, ‘current accepted science’ has difficulty reliably proving:

  • The degree of impairment caused by the use of drugs
  • The amount of tolerance a person has to a particular drug and
  • The period of time a person is impaired due to the drugs
How Does the Prosecutor can Build Their Case?

There are basically 2 ways the prosecutor can build a strong DUID case using relevant and reliable information.

  • Observations of the arresting officer and
  • The testimony of a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) who is a law enforcement officer with special training

Once the arresting officer suspects that you are under the influence of drugs, he/she will ask the DRE to conduct further examination on you. The examination will usually be conducted at the police station and will be part of a 12-step evaluation that includes:

  • Checking your vital signs and testing your blood and urine,
  • Interviewing the arresting officer, etc.

If your case goes to jury trial, the DRE will be called to testify against you. Jurors will hear the evidence collected by the investigator in court and have to make a determination of guilt or innocence based on that information. The Constitution allows for your DUI lawyer to question these experts. Your best chances for fighting this kind of expert testimony is to ensure you don’t talk to officers until you have an attorney present. The criminal defense attorneys at the Johnson Criminal Law Group are experts in this field of law and present the best chance for you to protect your rights and liberty against illegal investigations by the police.

It is highly advisable that you refuse to discuss anything about your current circumstances with investigating officers or anyone else who you might be housed with if you are detained.

Call our law office today to get the defense representation in Orange County.

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