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Drug-Related DUI Charges

Arrested for drugged driving in California?

It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol, as well as under the influence of drugs. "Drugs" is a broad term that encompasses many different substances. While some drugs are legal to use, it may be illegal to drive while you are taking them. Other drugs are illegal under all circumstances. Most drug DUIs are discovered with the help of a blood test.

Blood Tests & Drug DUI Cases

If you are pulled over by an officer, and he or she believes you are under the influence of a drug, the officer can demand that you submit to a blood test. Refusing to do so can result in serious penalties. The blood sample will be sent to a lab for testing, and if the sample analysts determine that you have traces of a drug in your blood, you can be arrested and tried. Unlike alcoholic DUIs, which are measured based on a blood alcohol content (BAC) limit, driving with any trace of drugs in your system is illegal and can result in arrest.

Common Drugs in DUI Cases

Illegal Drugs
It is against the law to drive with an illegal substance in your system, such as:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • Methamphetamine
  • Synthetic marijuana, also known as K2 and Spice

If you are arrested with illegal drugs in your system, you may be charged with additional crimes. In addition to receiving a drug DUI charge, you may face penalties for possession of a narcotic. A possession charge can be very serious. Our firm also handles drug crimes, so don't hesitate to get Ronald Dinan & Associates on your side right away.

Prescription Drugs
Some drugs are illegal without a prescription in California. Even if you have a valid prescription for a legal pharmaceutical, you could potentially be charged with DUI if you are caught driving with traces of such a drug in your system.

Some of the prescription drugs that can result in a DUI arrest include:

  • Vicodin
  • Lunesta
  • Ambien
  • Percocet
  • Lortab
  • Codeine
  • Demerol
  • OxyContin

Over-the-Counter Drugs
Many people don't realize that even over-the-counter drugs can result in charges for DUI of drugs. Often, these drugs are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. A patient taking over-the-counter medications probably won't be convicted for a DUI charge unless the medication caused extreme drowsiness or was used excessively.

Some over-the-counter medications that can lead to DUI charges include:

  • Tylenol PM
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Excedrin
  • Benadryl
  • Dramamine
  • Sudafed

In the state of California, marijuana is legal for certain approved medical purposes. If a person is caught with traces of marijuana in his or her blood while driving, however, that individual can be charged with DUI even if he or she has a prescription. Unfortunately, traces of marijuana can remain in a person's system for weeks; therefore, you may want to refrain from smoking, even for medical purposes, if you plan to drive.

With the right lawyer there to assist you, you can trust that your drug DUI case is in good hands. Our firm's accessible offices in Santa Rosa, Lakeport, Eureka, Napa, Ukiah, and San Rafael mean that our attorneys are where you need them to be. Don't hesitate to contact our firm to learn how our experience can defend you against criminal charges.

Ronald Dinan & Associates, Attorneys & Lawyers, Santa Rosa, CA