Driving under the influence of any drug that impairs a driver's ability to safely operate his or her vehicle is against the law in California. This includes illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamines as well as legally prescribed medications. In addition, though recently legalized, driving while under the influence of marijuana is also not permitted in California. If you have been charged with DUI – Drugs in the Sacramento area, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of John A. Campanella for a free case consultation today.
California Vehicle Code 23152 –The DUI Law
California's DUI law is listed under the California Vehicle Code, section 23152. It prohibits driving under the influence of both alcohol and drugs. The portions that specifically address drugs are as follows:
(f) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.
(g) It is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle.
(c) It is unlawful for a person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle. This subdivision shall not apply to a person who is participating in a narcotic treatment program approved pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 11875) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code. Cal. Veh. Code 23152 .
The law makes no distinction between illegal or legal substances. It is concerned with whether or not the substance impairs a person's ability to drive. Thus, even if a driver has taken a medication prescribed by a doctor, if that medicine causes the driver to drive in an unsafe manner then the driver can be charged with driving under the influence.
Penalties For DUI – Drugs
For a first-time offense, the penalty for DUI-Drugs is a maximum of six months in the county jail and a fine up to $1,000. Cal. Veh. Code 23536. However, this fine may be more when adding in other things such as court costs and other fees. In addition, there is a minimum number of hours that a person convicted of a DUI must spend in jail. For a first DUI, it's 96 hours, 48 hours of which must be continuously served behind bars. With court approval, however, there are alternatives that may be available to the defendant.
In addition to fines and jail time, a person convicted of DUI may also have his or her license suspended for a period of time. For a first offense, the minimum is six months. However, it is possible to apply for a restricted license after one month of license suspension. The restricted license permits the driver to travel to certain locations, i.e., place of employment or school.
Alcohol school, also known as a DUI class, can be a part of a person's sentence. The length of the class will depend on what the individual's BAC level was. Moreover, drivers with a DUI conviction may have to install an ignition interlock device on their car or may be sentenced to a term of probation that could last up to three years in length.
Contact A Sacramento DUI Attorney
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, whether they are legal or a controlled substance, contact the Law Office of John A. Campanella today to discuss your case. John Campanella has years of experience defending those who have been accused of driving under the influence and is dedicated to helping his clients navigate the criminal justice system.