PENALTIES FOR DUID IN CALIFORNIA

PENALTIES FOR DUID IN CALIFORNIA

PENALTIES FOR DUID IN CALIFORNIADUID stands for driving under the influence of drugs. In most cases, that’s a misdemeanor in the state of California. How exactly does the law in California define driving under the influence of drugs, and what penalties can be imposed on you if you’re convicted of DUID? Keep reading, and you’ll learn those answers and more about the DUID laws in California.

Pharmaceutical prescription medicines and even over-the-counter products can impair your ability to drive, just like alcohol, cannabis, or illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine, and PCP. A California motorist driving under the influence of any substance – whether or not the substance itself is legal – can be arrested, charged, and prosecuted for drugged driving.

The problem for prosecutors is that when a driver is impaired by a substance other than alcohol, police officers on patrol have no tools – like breathalyzers – to determine or gauge a driver’s level of intoxication. Thus, when an officer makes a traffic stop and suspects a driver of DUID, the officer may call for a DRE – a drug recognition expert – to be dispatched to the scene.

WHAT IS A DRUG RECOGNITION EXPERT?

A DRE is a police officer who is trained to recognize the signs of a driver’s intoxication. Nationally, DRE training is a joint effort of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). According to the IACP, a certified DRE has received 72 hours of classroom training and 40 to 60 hours of training in the field.

When a DRE arrives at the site of a traffic stop, he or she may measure the suspected impaired driver’s blood alcohol content level, check the suspect’s pulse rate, or conduct an eye examination and/or a field sobriety test. The DRE will look for specific indications of marijuana intoxication – dilated pupils or dehydration, for instance – and ask the suspect a number of questions.

If you are stopped by the police and you are suspected of DUI or DUID, after you’ve identified yourself and presented your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance, you are not required to answer any other questions. Be polite, but say something like, “Officer, I would prefer to exercise my right to remain silent until I can have an attorney present.”

If you are arrested and charged with DUI or DUID, it’s imperative to obtain high-quality legal advice and representation as swiftly as you can. Reach out right away to an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer who can protect your rights, explain your options, and advocate for justice on your behalf.

WHAT PENALTIES CAN BE IMPOSED ON CONVICTED DUID OFFENDERS?

A first DUID offense is usually charged as a misdemeanor, and a first DUID conviction is usually punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, three to five years on probation, a six-month driver’s license suspension, about $2,600 in “penalty assessments,” and a court order to complete a DUI education or drug treatment program.

If a DUID case is linked with aggravating or extenuating circumstances, or if a defendant has one or more previous DUI or DUID convictions, the penalties for a conviction can be even more severe. What are considered aggravating circumstances in a DUID case? Here’s a summary of the circumstances that may lead to harsher, “enhanced” sentences in California DUID cases:

  • Prior convictions: If a defendant was convicted of DUI, DUID, or wet reckless within the last ten years, that defendant’s jail term, DUI school attendance, and driver’s license suspension may all be extended or “enhanced” as part of the sentence.
  • Child endangerment: A sentencing enhancement may be imposed on a DUID offender when anyone below the age of 14 was a passenger in the vehicle when that driver was stopped by the police.
  • Injuries and property damage: If property was damaged by a DUID defendant, it usually will mean an automatic sentence enhancement, but if an intoxicated driver injures someone – or worse – the DUID charge will probably be prosecuted as a felony.
  • Reckless driving or speeding: If a defendant was driving at twenty or more miles-per-hour above the speed limit (or, on a highway, thirty or more miles-per-hour above the limit), that defendant’s DUID sentence may be enhanced.

WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR A SECOND DUID CONVICTION?

A second DUID conviction within ten years is punishable by up to a year in jail, a two-year driver’s license suspension, up to five years on probation, and up to thirty months in education or treatment. Subsequent convictions for driving under the influence of drugs, as you might imagine, are penalized even more harshly.

Any discussion of the penalties for DUID in California must address the extra-legal consequences of a DUID conviction. You will not be able to stop your auto insurance rates from going up if you’re convicted of DUID, and that increased cost will probably be permanent. If you’re employed as a driver or if your work requires driving, you may have to find other work.

Doctors, dentists, attorneys, nurses, pilots, pharmacists, and teachers are just a few of the professions where a DUID conviction can place someone’s professional license at risk in California. If you are a professional in southern California and you are charged with DUID, contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer as quickly as possible after your arrest.

WHY ARE CONCERNS RISING ABOUT DRUGGED DRIVING?

A survey conducted in 2013 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that in 2012, nearly ten million people in the U.S. drove at least once while under the influence of drugs. Our aging populace means that more drivers use prescription medicines, and fewer restrictions on marijuana use predictably means more people are probably driving while high.

That makes driving under the influence of drugs a growing problem. If you are arrested and charged with DUID – whether you are guilty or innocent – the state must prove its case against you beyond a reasonable doubt in order to win a conviction. Don’t try to act as your own attorney. Too much is at risk.

If you are arrested and charged with DUI or DUID in southern California, protect yourself. Get legal help immediately. Exercise your constitutional rights. Do not sign anything, admit to anything, or agree to anything before you meet and consult with an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer.

 

Todd Landgren on Google