The Difference Between Drug DUI and Alcohol DUI

A DUI drug charge, also called a DUID, can have severe and life-long consequences. Just like any criminal charge, a DUI drug charge will have a number of penalties associated with it. The charge will have a social and economic impact on the life of the offender, which can affect them for years to come. Moreover, drugged driving laws also change over time, and each state has specific laws that are different from drugged driving laws in other states. If you have been charged with a DUI drug charge in California, it is important to contact a knowledgeable California DUI defense lawyer who has experience handling different drug-related arrests, such as DUI Marijuana, DUI Ambien, or any other type of drug, including illegal substances and over-the-counter medications.

When someone is charged with Drugged Driving in California, the first thing they would want to know is what penalties they may be facing and how they can defend themselves. They will also want to educate themselves on how DUI drug cases are handled and prosecuted in court and what should be done in order to handle the situation proactively. An experienced DUI defense lawyer will try to have the charges reduced or dropped, and will also help mitigate the potential consequences.

DUI Drugs Charge Vs. An Alcohol DUI Charge

Although a DUI drug charge may seem very similar to an Alcohol DUI charge, the two are different. These differences are listed below:

  • Alcohol impairment can be measured using the blood alcohol content of the offender, also known as BAC. Unlike an alcohol DUI, there is no standard gauge that can be used to measure the impairment level from the use of drugs.
  • Alcohol impairment can be measured with the help of a breath test. However, in the case of drug impairment, the offender is required to give a blood test. In some cases, a urine test may also be used.
  • Since alcohol affects most individuals in a similar way, officers usually rely on observations commonly seen in other cases. However, the same cannot be said in the case of a DUID charge. In the case of a Drugs DUI charge, a DRE (Drug Recognition Expert) is required to observe the suspect and testify in court later on.
  • The offenders’ driver’s license cannot be suspended after a DUI Drugs charge, as is the case of an alcohol DUI. Their license will only be suspended if the offender refuses to submit to a chemical test, or if the offender registers a BAC of 0.08% or more in addition to being under the influence of a drug.

The similarities between a DUID charge and an alcohol DUI charge include:

  • Both the DUI Drugs charge and an alcohol DUI charge are made under California Vehicle Code section 23152(a)
  • Both charges are usually proven with the help of circumstantial evidence. The arresting officer will observe the behavior and appearance of the driver, their performance on field sobriety tests, and any chemical tests administered in order to prosecute them.

In order to better understand how DUI Drug charges work in California, it is advised to get in touch with a DUI defense lawyer immediately.