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How hard is it to prove a drug dui

San Jose, CA |

So I read a lot of comments from lawers that a drug dui is hard to prove what about a prescription drug dui near therapeutic levels mixed with alcohol with a bac below .08 how hard is that to prove

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Attorney answers 4


A prescription drug near therapeutic levels plus alcohol on board means consult with an attorney who has worked with a toxicologist before. Driving pattern will also be important as well as other signs of impairment. Good luck.


It depends on many other factors. There are 2 counts with most California DUI's... The .08 is merely one charge. You can also be convicted of the "a" count or driving with the caution not characteristic of a sober person. Manner of driving and performance on sobriety tests will be examined closely. A drug DUI is not as easy to prove as a straight alcohol DUI. But drugs mixed with some booze can make a prosecutors case any day. Get a lawyer.


The answer is that it really depends on the situation, as everything does. The driving pattern, and the field sobriety tests matter a great deal. I would say that they are much more difficult to prove than numbers dui cases in general. I have had great experience winning marijuana, and even better methamphetamine based dui cases. Opiate and Xanax cases are becoming more and more common, and typically I am seeing them after accidents, with horrible field sobriety tests, but that is not always the case. Like anything you need an attorney who is skilled at litigating and not simply a plea mill.


It is a function of several things: 1) your levels of prescription drugs (therapeutic range? toxic range?); 2) which drug(s) and how they interact with each other and alcohol (for instance, some drugs combine with alcohol to enhance the depressive effects); 3) how bad the driving pattern was; 4) how strong the respective testimony is from the toxicologist(s).

Moreso than in strictly alcohol cases, the government relies upon the expert testimony and the bad driving pattern to prove that you were impaired by the drug/alcohol combination at the time of driving. This is because with drug impairment there is no strict .08 limit as with alcohol only DUI.

See if your attorney can negotiate a "wet reckless" for you, if you have no priors.