Driving under the influence, or DUI, is a heavily legislated offense that covers a broad spectrum of activity. Ultimately, a DUI involves a driver consciously taking the wheel when under the influence of drugs, alcohol, and other impairing substances. Some of the more common terms associated with DUI charges are:
- Drunk driving
- Drunken driving
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Operating under the influence
- Drinking and driving
- Impaired driving
In California, it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater. However, even if a person’s BAC is below the .08% limit, an officer can still charge them with a DUI if they fail field sobriety tests or if the officer finds that their mannerisms allude to intoxication. In addition to alcohol intoxication, a person can also be charged with a DUI of drugs (DUID) or DUI marijuana.
Why You Need a San Diego DUI Lawyer
The California DUI process is lengthy and complicated. Not only does it lead to arrest and license suspension, it can also result in costly fines, probation, jail time, and sheriff work programs. Additionally, a DUI conviction that goes on your record can result in other negative consequences such as increased insurance premiums and lost employment opportunities.
Without an experienced San Diego DUI attorney like Bradley R. Corbett on your side, you could face not only a conviction of your charge, but the maximum fines and penalties that go along with it. Bradley R. Corbett has personally handled hundreds of criminal cases, many of which include DUI charges. Our highly specialized team of legal professionals will defend your case in court to help you get your charges reduced or even dismissed.
Been Arrested for DUI/DWI in San Diego area? Watch this:
DUI of Drugs in California
Just as it is illegal to drive while intoxicated, operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs is also a serious crime that can involves jail time, community service, and heavy fines if found guilty. DUI of drugs can involve driving while under the influence of illegal substances such as marijuana or even legal substances like prescription drugs taken at illegal dosages. In short, the California DUI law defines drugs as any substance that affects the brain, muscles, or nervous system in a way that negatively affects or impairs a person’s ability to drive correctly.
While drunk driving and drugged driving are defined the same, they are carried out by different tests administered by law enforcement. When someone is pulled over for drunk driving, a breath test is administered to determine how much alcohol is present in a person’s bloodstream. Since marijuana and other drugs will not register in a breath test, the individual may be subject to a blood test, and in some cases, a urine test.
For an officer to administer these tests legally, all they have to do is have reasonable suspicion based on observed behavior that includes:
- Physical appearance
- Erratic driving
- Incriminating statements
If you’ve been charged with a DUI of drugs, don’t wait to call Bradley R. Corbett, an experienced San Diego DUI attorney. Having handled hundreds of DUI cases, he and his skilled legal team can help you get your charges reduced or dismissed.
DUI Marijuana in California
Driving while under the influence of marijuana is also considered a crime in California, and the charges associated are just as serious as those for DUI of alcohol and a DUI of drugs.
By definition, all of these charges are the same by law, stating that if the substance “affects the nervous system, brain, or muscles of a person as to impair, to an appreciable degree, his ability to drive a vehicle in a manner that any ordinarily prudent and cautious an, in full possession of his faculties, using reasonable care, would drive a similar vehicle under like circumstances,” then it is illegal to be operating a vehicle under its influence.
Where a charge for DUI marijuana does differ, however, is in the prosecution’s ability to convict a person charged for this offense. Unlike a breathalyzer test that can prove blood alcohol concentration, the prosecution in a California DUI marijuana case must be able to not only prove that marijuana was present in the person’s system, but that it caused impairment while driving. Because the ingestion of marijuana doesn’t always lead to impairment on all stages, the charge of impaired driving due to marijuana can be difficult for the prosecution prove.
It is also important to recognize that while there are California laws in place protecting those using marijuana for medical purposes, law enforcement can and will investigate the validity of medical claims for the use of the drug when a DUI is involved.
If you or a loved one is facing a California DUI marijuana charge, call the most experienced San Diego DUI marijuana lawyer, Bradley R. Corbett. With free consultations always offered, you have nothing to lose.
Inacurrate blood or breath sample
Inaccurate observation of field sobriety test
Alcohol level on the rise
First Time DUI
To prove a person is guilty of a first time DUI the State of California must show the person was 1) Driving a motor vehicle and 2) The person was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or had a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher. A criminal defense attorney can usually get first time DUI charges reduced to a lesser offense such as wet reckless, dry reckless, or just dismiss the case depending on the facts of the case.
Permanent Criminal Record for First Time DUI
Wet Reckless Plea Bargain DUI Cases
A person being arrested for California DUI does not mean the person has been convicted for a DUI. Appealing a DUI may reduce a person’s charge, which comes with a reduced sentence. Plea Bargaining comes into play which involves Vehicle Code 23152(a) and 23152(b).
California Wet Reckless Vehicle Code 23103, per 23103.5
Second Time DUI
A person’s punishment increases with each consecutive DUI or wet reckless charged within a 10-year period. There are two elements to meet in order for a person to be convicted of a second DUI. They are 1) Operating a motor vehicle and 2) The person had a Blood Alcohol Concentration .08% or higher at the time of driving.
Permanent Criminal Record for Second Time DUI
Third Time DUI
A person’s punishment increases with each consecutive DUI or wet reckless charged within a 10-year period. There are two ways that must be satisfied to meet a third time DUI. They are 1) The person was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or 2) The persons blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher at the time of driving.
Permanent Criminal Record for Third Time DUI