DUID in California
Like driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence
of drugs is illegal in the state of California. However, there is no straightforward
measurement for determining the degree of a person's impairment under
the influence of drugs that is comparable to the Breathlyzer.
As a result, a California police officer who suspects someone of driving
while under the influence of prescription, non-prescription, illegal or
even over-the-counter drugs may call in a Drug Recognition Evaluator.
Also known as a DRE, this is a person who is trained to recognize the
signs of drug use in a driver. The International Associate of Chiefs of
Police and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration work together
to train DREs.
How a DRE Works
Once a DRE arrives at the scene, they will perform a number of tests including
the ones below:
- test of blood alcohol content
- eye exam
- field sobriety test
The person may also be questioned and subject to further testing.
There are several specific signs a DRE will look for to determine whether
a person is under the influence of marijuana:
- odor of marijuana
- dilated pupils
- struggling with short-term memory
- elevated blood pressure
- elevated pulse
Based on the findings of the DRE, the person may be charge with DUID.
A DRE will testify in court against the person. It is possible to call
this testimony into question, but doing so requires a skilled and intelligent
DUID lawyer. We are Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange County's
Leading DUI Defense Law Firm, and Scott Henry is the area's leading
criminal defense lawyer. In a case like this, we can help.
A first-time DUID can result in a maximum of five years of probation, six
months in jail, six months of license suspension, $2,600 in penalty assessments
and a $1,000 fine, and a requirement to complete a drug treatment or DUI
education program. Although the first-time charge is only a misdemeanor
except in the case of extenuating circumstances, the penalties are not
light, and they increase with further convictions.
Blood and urine tests are not conclusive in terms of pinpointing when a
person used marijuana. They can only determine that a person has done
so recently. It could have been several days ago, and the person may be
unimpaired. However, driving under the influence of marijuana remains
a problem in California with an estimate that 1 in 9 drivers will test
positively. In the last decade, motor vehicle deaths connected with marijuana
usage have tripled.
People may not consider the danger of over-the-counter drugs such as Benadryl,
but these can lead to a DUID just as illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin
and PCP can. Different drugs have different effects on a person's
behavior and their driving. For example, methamphetamine may increase
a person's aggressiveness while fatigue may result from sedatives.
The result of drugs such as "bath salts" can be unpredictable.
The Scope of the Problem
Based on a 2013 survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, around
9.9 million people drove in the previous year while under the influence
of drugs. An aging population means more people are using prescription
medication, and less restrictive laws on marijuana use means that the
incidence of people driving under its influence is likely to rise as well.
A person who is charged with DUID should contact an attorney.
For more than 8 years, attorney Scott Henry has worked on criminal defense
cases. His passion for defending people accused of criminal charges and
his knowledgeable approach gets great results for his clients. He has
many years of experience with DUI cases. If you need an attorney for your
DUID charges in the areas of Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange County,
give Scott Henry a call today.