Drivers who drink alcohol or use drugs before getting behind the wheel can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). California treats many charges for DUIs and driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) with a high level of severity.
Find out if driving high is legally worse than driving drunk in California with this article. Consider the legal repercussions for DUI and DUID convictions with the Simmrin Law Group. Get help handling all types of DUI charges today by calling us at (310) 997-4688.
Similarities Between a DUI and a DUID in California
DUIs and DUIDs are treated in roughly the same way by the court system in California. Drivers convicted of either a drug or alcohol-related DUI will face penalties that can include:
- Fines and restitution payments
- Jail or prison time
- A lengthy period of probation
- Restrictions on their driver’s license
- Attendance in DUI school
Additionally, the penalties for both DUIs and DUIDs will increase each time an individual is convicted. Generally, the repercussions for a first DUI and a first DUID will be very similar, as will the penalties for a second DUI and a second DUID.
Both DUIs and DUIDs can be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies in California. Drivers are typically only charged with a felony if they:
- Have three previous misdemeanor convictions
- Have one previous felony conviction
- Severely hurt or killed someone while driving under the influence
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Differences in DUID Penalties in California
There are a few differences in the way the court system punishes DUID charges in California. Primarily, we see this difference when it comes to license restrictions. Let’s go over the impact of a DUID on driving privileges in California now.
In 2019, California began ordering drivers convicted of alcohol-related DUIs to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in their vehicles. These devices measure blood alcohol content (BAC). Drivers are allowed to operate a vehicle with an IID installed after a DUI conviction.
IIDs are not designed to detect drug use in California. This means that drivers convicted of a DUID are generally not permitted to continue operating their vehicles after a conviction. Instead, they may have their license:
- Suspended six-to-ten months for a first DUID
- Suspended two years for a second DUID
- Revoked three years for a third DUID
- Revoked five years for some felony DUIDs
You can speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles if you are worried about using your license following a DUID charge. Get legal advice now by calling (310) 997-4688.
Additional Criminal Charges Associated with a DUID
Sometimes, driving high appears to be legally worse than driving drunk because an individual can face additional criminal charges. Drivers could be charged with drug possession, for example, if they were carrying illicit substances in their vehicle while stopped for a DUID.
A basic drug possession charge in California can result in:
- Up to one year of time in jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
Many drivers are aware that marijuana has been partially decriminalized in California. However, you can still face criminal charges if you are caught driving high with larger amounts of marijuana in your possession. Legally, drivers are only allowed to have an ounce or marijuana leaf or eight grams of concentrated marijuana in their possession.
Drivers found with significant amounts of marijuana or another illicit chemical substance may even be charged with possession for sale. Possession for sale convictions result in higher fines and a longer period of incarceration in California.
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Get Help with Driving High Charges in California
A conviction for driving high can result in serious legal penalties. You can focus on defending yourself from a DUID accusation by reaching out to a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles today. The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can help you handle:
- DUID accusations
- Drug possessions charges
- Possession for sale charges
Allow us to work on building a strong defense for you right now. We can take steps to get your charges reduced or dismissed and we’re prepared to construct a courtroom ready defense for DUID accusations.
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Defend Yourself from Driving High Charges in Los Angeles
Driving high may be legally worse than driving drunk in some situations, especially if you are facing additional charges for drug possession or possession for sale. Fortunately, you can get help handling these charges now by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Reach out to us now to get a FREE consultation about your legal needs.
Speak to our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles by calling (310) 997-4688 or filling out our online contact form.