Is it illegal to drive your car under the influence of prescription drugs in California? Operating a vehicle after using a mind-altering substance is always against the law. This includes certain prescription drugs. You could face driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) charges for driving after taking prescription medications.
Find out more about DUID charges with this article. You may consider the results of a DUID conviction and focus on some legal defenses.
Learn About DUID Charges in California
California prosecutes DUID charges harshly. The state often uses Vehicle Code Section 23152(f) to prosecute DUIDs. You may face these charges even taking a legally prescribed medication, if it impacts your ability to drive. For example, you may face DUID charges for taking medications that:
- Make you drowsy or tired.
- Make it hard for you to concentrate.
- Blur your vision.
- Slow your reaction time.
You could also face DUID charges for taking illicit chemical substances, like marijuana, before operating a vehicle. You may also face charges for the use of prescription:
- Sleeping pills.
Note that these are only examples of prescription medications that could result in DUID charges. In some cases, you can face charges for a DUID if you took over-the-counter medications. Some cold medicines or antihistamines may impact your ability to drive safely, for example.
Information About DUID Arrests in California
You may wonder how police officers determine if you are driving under the influence of prescription drugs or not. Officers may stop you if you appear to be driving in an erratic or dangerous way. They will then ask you to complete field sobriety testing. Field sobriety tests require you to:
- Walk in a straight line.
- Stand on one foot.
- Jump up and down.
Officers also work with drug recognition experts (DREs). You may be asked to complete a blood alcohol content (BAC) test if an officer believes you are driving under the influence of alcohol. Officers may also ask you questions about any medications you took.
Note that you have a right to refuse to answer questions. You do not have to discuss your charges before talking to a DUID lawyer in California. Get legal help in your corner by calling us at (310) 896-2723.
Results of a Conviction for a DUID in California
Most DUID charges are treated like misdemeanors and a first-time conviction can result in:
- Up to six months in jail.
- Court fine.
- Informal probation.
- Restrictions on your driver’s license.
As with other DUI charges in California, DUIDs are priorable offenses. This means that you face harsher penalties each time you are convicted. A DUID charge stays on your driving record for 10 years and impacts the results of subsequent DUI convictions. You may even end up facing felony charges in some cases.
Consider Your Defense for Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs
If you were accused of a DUID involving prescription drugs in California, you have legal options. A lawyer will review your situation and build your defense. In certain cases, a lawyer will work to show that you were stopped by law enforcement without reasonable cause.
Lawyers may also dispute the results of drug testing. These tests have a limited window of validity. Your lawyer will try and show that they did not return accurate results in your case if they were administered improperly.
A DUID lawyer will also focus on getting your charges reduced with a plea bargain. Plea bargains are deals offered by the prosecution and might help you secure less severe penalties after a DUID arrest. In specific cases, a lawyer could even get your charges dismissed. However, if your case reaches a California court, your lawyer will do what it takes to defend you. Explore your legal options today with Simmrin Law.
It Is Illegal to Drive After Using Prescription Drugs
It’s illegal to drive under the influence of some prescription drugs in California. Get legal help from the Simmrin Law Group. A DUID lawyer in California will provide you with comprehensive help today. Find out more with a free consultation.
Reach out to us by calling (310) 896-2723, or fill out our online contact form.