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  • Former Deputy San Diego City Attorney
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Attorneys William R. Christoph & Nicholas W. Christoph

Is a Prescription Drug DUI the same as an alcohol DUI in Vista?

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2013

      A prescription drug DUI is treated the same as an alcohol DUI in Vista Courts.   The purpose of the “drunk driving” laws is to keep impaired drivers off the road as they pose a danger to other drivers and pedestrians.  Just because you have a prescription doesn’t mean you are not impaired for purposes of driving if the drug effects your perception, judgement, reflexes and other mental and physical abilities required in driving a motor vehicle.  A prescription drug DUI is included in the California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) which states it is illegal to drive under the infliuence of alchol and/or a drug.

    You should ask your physician about any side effects of any medication you are taking as to whether the meds effect your ability to drive.  Usually there is a warning on the label not to operate heavy machinery after taking the drug.  Some drugs not only may effect your ability to drive but also magnify the effects of any alcohol consumed.  Sleep meds, pain medications, anxiety and anti-depression drugs are the most common drugs that can significantly impair your driving ability and result in a prescription drug DUI. 

     There are also a number of illegal drugs which also cause problems operating a motor vehicle.  Drugs in the system can only be identified and quantified with a blood test.  Each drug may have a different level at which it effects driving and being under the influence for purposes of driving.  People also build up tolerances so that it may take greater amounts of a drug to have an effect if you have used it for a period of time.  The level at which a drug imapirs an individual is not quite as identifiable as alcohol impairment levels because there less studies and data available.  The officer has a right to take your blood if they have probable cause to believe you are under the influence of a drug. 

     Many times drivers think they are helping themselves by telling the Officer all the meds they are taking, but they are really giving him a basis to draw blood instead of a breath test.  The less said the better.  Christoph Law Offices have handled over 3000 DUI cases, including prescription and illegal drug cases.  Call them for a free consultation at 760-670-3885.



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I highly recommend Christoph Law Offices to everyone. Nick is a true professional who will go above and beyond for his clients. Thank you!
– Mahir B.


Amazing attorneys! Bill Christoph was very helpful during my case. He was always quick to get back to me about my questions.
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Great experience overall having William Christoph as my attorney. He understands his client, very insightful and is an expert in his field.
– Soheila N.

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