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Can I be Charged with Driving Under The Influence of Drugs in Orange County?

California Vehicle Code §23152(a) governs Driving under the Influence of drugs (DUID). Consequently, that section makes it unlawful to be driving under the influence of alcohol. Despite being charged under the same section, both types of cases invoke different arguments and defenses.

In a regular alcohol related DUI an individual is considered to be intoxicated for purposes of a Driving Under the Influence if their Blood Alcohol Level is .08% of higher. This is an objective test and a reading is obtained through the use of a blood, breath and urine tests (also known as Chemical Tests). In contrast, there is no objective test for a Drug related Driving Under the Influence charge (DUID).

It is typical for a person under the suspicion of a Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) to be checked by a peace officer for several different subjective signs of intoxication in order to include such information in their police report and support their allegation that a person was under the influence of drugs. This is required because an officer must be able to articulate the probable cause required by law to make an arrest.

Generally, a peace officer will observe a suspects behavior, and check their pulse and heart rate if they are concerned the individual is driving under the influence of drugs. Additionally, the officer may ask the individual to complete a horizontal or vertical gaze nystagmus test.

During a gaze nystagmus test a peace officer asks a person to follow an object with their eyes only, without moving their head. It checks for involuntary jerking movements of the eye, which can be indicative of a person being under the influence of drugs. An officer will also ask the person to complete a series of Field Sobriety Tests such as walking in a straight line, Finger to Nose, or a balance test. A urine test is also generally asked to be completed and sent for drug analysis.

The compilation of the officer statement regarding his observations and tangible evidence such as urine samples obtained during the arrest will be forwarded to the District Attorney. The DA will utilize the facts and evidence to prepare their argument and to prove in court that the driver was under the influence of drugs.

An Orange County Criminal Defense attorney with experience handling driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) is essential to obtain a favorable outcome against the prosecution. The District Attorney is trained to scrutinize every piece of evidence obtained and portray it in their favor. However, with the help of a skilled Orange County DUI attorney a dismissal or favorable reduced settlement can be reached. Core Law Group’s DUI Defense attorneys are trained to accomplish such results.

Core Law Group’s Criminal Defense team is aware of the type of arguments the District Attorney will make, and have time tested defenses ready to use in their client’s favor. Due to the fact that a DUID case must be proven through the use of facts, there are many ambiguities that can be exploited to obtain a dismissal or to engage in negotiation. At Core Law Group a knowledgeable Criminal Defense attorney will present the facts of your case in a light most favorable to you, casting doubt on any claims made by the DA and weakening their case.

Additional resources provided by the author

To learn more about DUI’s visit Core Law group’s blog at or call one of our attorneys at 888-652-5529.

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