There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to the legality of drug use while driving. One of the most common is that because the breathalyzer cannot be used in these situations, the prosecution will have no evidence. This is not true. If you are accused of using drugs while driving, you are legally required to submit to a blood test. If you refuse to take this test, your refusal is considered evidence of your guilt.
Another common myth is that the law only applies to illegal drugs. In actuality, if taking cold medicine affects your driving, you can be charged with Driving Under The Influence of Drugs (DUID) just as easily as someone who has taken methamphetamine. Of course, if you were under the influence of an illegal substance at the time, the DA will likely add a separate charge of H&S 11550, being under the influence of drugs. This is particularly problematic because you will face a minimum of 90 days in jail and because when the charge is combined with a DUI, you will not be eligible for a drug diversion program. Fortunately, you may be able to avoid jail with the negotiation of a plea bargain.
There are a number of legal defenses your Vista DUI attorney can use to help you fight these serious accusations. For example, there is no legal limit when it comes to drug use and driving. You can be charged if the officer believes you were impacted in any manner, but your lawyer may be able to show that you were no longer under the influence of the drug at the time you were driving or that a particular prescription you were taking has not been shown to impact driving in any manner.
In other cases, your attorney may argue that the only reason the officer accused you of DUID was because you first passed the breathalyzer, showing you were not drunk, like he originally suspected.
Remember that anything you say to the police can be used against you, particularly in a driving under the influence of drugs case. If you have been accused of DUID, please call a skilled Vista DUI lawyer like Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 as soon as possible.
Creative Commons Image by Steve Snodgrass