A person can get a DUI for using prescription drugs IF you drive a vehicle and “as a result of consuming alcohol and/or taking a drug, his or her mental or physical abilities are so impaired that he or she is no longer able to drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances.” Cal Crim Jury Instruction 2110.
Whether you have a prescription for the drug or it is an illegal drug doesn’t matter for driving under the influence if you are impaired by that drug or combination drug and alcohol, it is still a drug DUI. The purpose of the law is highway safety and to keep impaired individuals off the road regardless of why they may be impaired. You should pay attention to the warnings on all prescription drugs and ask your physician if you can drive after taking your prescription. You should also be aware what mixing alcohol with your prescriptions may do. Even if you have a low blood alcohol level, impairment can be greatly enhanced with a combination of alcohol and drugs. If drugs are suspected, you can be required to take a blood test. Blood tests can show when the drug was taken, how much of the drugs are active and metabolized in your system and be used to prove impairment.
In drug or drug/alcohol DUI cases, not only are the chemical tests important, but also the officers’s observations, the manner of driving and field sobriety tests become more important to show mental and physical impairment in conjunction with blood tests. It is important to contact a DUI Defense attorney to understand the possible defenses, possible resolutions and what needs to be done to assure you of the best possible result in your case. Christoph Law Offices have been located across from Vista Courts for over 38 years and have handled thousands of DUI cases in Vista Courts.