Under California law, it is illegal to drive under the influence of both alcohol and drugs. Drugs can be anything from illegal substances like methamphetamine, prescription drugs like Vicodin, or even over-the-counter cough medicine. If you are taking something that impairs your ability to drive, you can be arrested and convicted of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID).
How a Drug DUI is Different
The signs that a driver is under the influence of drugs will often be different than the signs of alcohol use. Many law enforcement agencies have special drug recognition experts that are brought in to observe suspects who are believed to be on drugs.
Under California’s implied consent law, you must take a blood or urine test if arrested for DUID. A breath test is not available to detect drugs in your system. Blood tests are much more common than urine tests. If you do not take the blood or urine test, the refusal can be used against you in court and you could also face additional fines and license suspension.
Understanding Your Rights
When dealing with law enforcement in a DUI or DUID situation you still have your Constitutional rights. You can exercise your right to remain silent and to ask for an attorney. It is up to you to tell the police officer questioning you that you want to exercise your right to remain silent and that you want a lawyer. This could prevent you from saying something that might incriminate you.
You also have the right to force the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the DUID. This means that you do not have to take a plea deal. Every case is different. In some cases, your best option might be to enter a guilty plea. But, other times it may be in your best interest to fight your case all the way to trial.
Just because you have been arrested and charged with DUID does not mean it is an open and shut case. Sometimes police misconduct or noncompliance with established protocol may mean that some of the evidence against you cannot be used at trial. There may be problems with the way your blood or urine was stored and tested. You may also be able to show that just having drugs in your system does not mean you were impaired.
If you have been arrested for DUI or DUID, you need to speak with a skilled San Jose DUI attorney immediately. Do not talk to anyone about your case until you have spoken with a lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich today at (408) 898-9770 to schedule a free initial consultation.