When it comes to DUIs, most people think of alcohol. Many do not realize, however, that prescription drugs can lead and have led to DUI arrests in the state. There is actually a separate term that covers these cases, which is DUID, a term that stands for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs. This term applies to cases where a driver is judged to be operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, illicit drugs, or prescription medication.
Unlike a traditional DUI case, the science surrounding DUID cases is somewhat soft, especially when it comes to prescription drugs. As you likely well know, prescription drugs interact with different people in different ways, and this means there’s no standardized way of judging whether or not they can or will impair an individual’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. This means that it’s more difficult for a prosecutor to secure a DUID conviction, and it opens up a number of avenues through which you can be defended by an experienced California DUI attorney such as myself.
How a DUID Arrest Can Happen in California
When you’re pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, the officer who pulled you over will attempt to make a judgment of the situation. When they first interact with you, they will be examining the manner in which you’re behaving and the things that you say very closely. If based upon this judgment you are intoxicated, but there is no evidence that you are under the influence of alcohol, then another officer will be called to the scene.
This new officer is known as a Drug Recognition Evaluator, and he or she specializes in assessing if a driver is under the influence of drugs, illicit or prescription. To make his or her assessment, this officer will use a number of different tests. For example, they will check your eyeballs to see if your pupils are dilated or not. The officer may also check your blood pressure or your heart rate. If in this officer’s ‘specialized’ assessment you are under the influence of some kind of drug, then you will be arrested.
Once you arrive at the station, you will be required to submit to a chemical test, which will most likely be a blood test. This test will be used to determine what, if any, drugs you are under the influence of. Remember that California is an implied consent state, and that you need to submit to this chemical test no matter what. Refusing will only make matters worse, and it will make defending you much more difficult.
Fighting a DUID Arrest in Court
As you might imagine, there is a much higher degree of subjectivity involved in DUID cases than there is in DUI cases, where there are more established testing procedures in place. Because of this, the DUID charge that you might be facing can be challenged on a number of different grounds. For one, the manner in which you were pulled over and arrest can be called into question. Also, the results of the chemical test can be questioned, as well as the assertion that whatever prescription drug you were on actually impaired your ability to operate your motor vehicle safely.
In order to ensure that your rights following a DUID arrest are represented to the fullest extent possible, you must retain the services of an experienced and qualified California DUI attorney as soon as possible. I’m here to help you in these cases, and have represented countless other California drivers who have been arrested for DUID. Simply call me at (760) 613-5384? for a free consultation.