Can I be Charged with a Drug Related DUI in Orange County?
Yes, an individual can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs in Orange County. California Vehicle Code § 23152(a) governs drug related DUIs. That section makes it unlawful to drive under the influence of alcohol. However, both types of cases invoke different arguments and defenses.
In a regular alcohol related DUI, an individual is considered to be intoxicated for DUI purposes if their Blood Alcohol Level is .08% or higher. This is an objective test and a reading is obtained through the use of chemical tests (blood, breath, and/or urine). In contrast, there is no objective test for a drug related DUI charge.
Typically, a person under suspicion of a drug related DUI will be checked by an officer for several different subjective signs of intoxication. The officer will include such information in their police report, which will ultimately be used to support their drug related DUI allegation. This is required because an officer must be able to articulate the probable cause required by law to justify an arrest.
Generally, a peace officer will observe a suspects behavior, and check their pulse and heart rates if they believe the individual is under the influence of drugs. Additionally, the officer may ask the individual to complete a horizontal or vertical gaze nystagmus test.
During a gaze nystagmus test, an officer asks a person to follow an object with their eyes only, without moving their head. The officer checks for involuntary jerking movements of the eyes. The officer will also ask the person to complete a series of Field Sobriety Tests, such as walking in a straight line, “finger to nose”, or a balance test. A urine test is also generally requested and submitted for drug analysis.
The officer’s statements regarding his observations and tangible evidence such as urine samples obtained during the arrest will be forwarded to the District Attorney (DA). The DA’s office will utilize the facts and evidence to prepare their argument and to prove in court that the driver was under the influence of drugs.
An Orange County DUI attorney with experience handling drug related DUIs is essential to obtain a favorable outcome. The DA is trained to scrutinize every piece of evidence obtained and portray it in their favor. However, with the help of a skilled Orange County DUI attorney, a dismissal or favorable reduced settlement can be reached. Core Law Group’s DUI Defense attorneys are trained to accomplish such results.
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