Fighting Against Allegations of Drugged Driving
In California, if an officer suspects that you were driving under the influence of drugs, you could be arrested for and charged with what's referred to as a DUID. The laws concerning this offense are almost the same as those concerning an alcohol-related DUI offense. If you're convicted, you could be sentenced to jail, ordered to serve probation, and/or be required to pay a fine. Additionally, your driving privileges may be suspended. The consequences of a DUID are profound, which is why it's best to have a criminal defense attorney on your side to help fight your charges.
If you need effective and aggressive defense for your DUID charge in Bakersfield, our trial-tested lawyer is here to help. At Koenig Law Office, we have extensive experience handling driving under the influence cases, and we know what methods to use to challenge the accusations against you. Because of the nuances of the law and subjectivity of impairment tests, it may be possible to mount various defenses on your behalf. We'll look through every detail of your case to build and present a compelling legal strategy as we work toward a favorable result for you.
Facing a DUID charge? Discuss your legal options by calling us at (661) 793-7222 today.
What Is a DUID?
A DUID charge is levied against you if you were suspected of driving while you had drugs in your system.
California Vehicle Code 23152 VCspecifically provides that you may be charged with this offense for operating a vehicle while under the influence of:
- Any drug that may affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle; or
- A combination of drugs and alcohol
A common misconception is that you can only get a DUID for driving after having consumed an illegal drug. Thus, some people may get behind the wheel after taking a prescription or over-the-counter medication, believing that they aren't breaking the law. Unfortunately, any drug – whether legal or illegal – that impairs driving ability can lead to a DUID arrest and/or charge. You may be considered impaired when the effects of a substance make it so you cannot drive as a reasonable person would when sober.
How Would Police Know If I Was Under the Influence of Drugs?
The challenging part of DUID case is that no legal limit of drugs exists to suggest impairment. With a regular DUI, a person is considered to have broken the law if their BAC was at or above .08%. However, the same isn't true with a DUID, and a charge may be levied based on subjective evidence.
Generally, an arrest for a DUID begins with a traffic stop. If an officer observes strange or erratic driving behavior, they will pull you over. They might subject you to field sobriety tests or a roadside breath test (both of which you may refuse, but be prepared for an arrest). If you do participate in the preliminary tests and "fail" or if your driving was such that it suggested you were impaired, you may be arrested. You can also be arrested if you blew below .08 and the officer believes that your driving behavior was the result of drug-related impairment.
Once at the station, you may be subjected to a chemical breath test or blood test (which, under implied consent laws, you technically can't refuse). A blood test may reveal that you had drugs in your system when you were driving, but, again, because there is no "legal limit" for drugs, the results will almost always end up with being prosecuted for DUID. Most often, a district attorney will file DUID charges for the simple fact that a jury may “think” its bad. Its our job and defense to educate the jury that drugs in your system do not always affect driving, or were not even in your system for any neurological effect at the time of driving.
Possible Defenses to DUID Charges
Because DUID charges are based largely on subjective evidence, different defenses can be mounted in these types of cases.
The evidence in a DUID can be challenged for numerous reasons, such as:
- An unlawful traffic stop
- An unlawful arrest
- A Title 17 violation
- Contaminated blood testing results
- No impairment existed at the time of driving
When you choose our Bakersfield DUID lawyer for your defense, we'll listen to the events leading up to your charges and examine all the evidence to determine what legal avenues can be explored and what defenses may be raised.