Driving under the influence of drugs in California is also considered a DUI. Under Vehicle Code Section 23152, you can be charged with a DUI if alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both drugs and alcohol is present in your system.
Nearly any drug in your system can be grounds for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), whether it be illegal or legal, a prescription medication, or an over-the-counter medicine (i.e. Tylenol PM). But to be charged with a DUID, impaired driving must be observed. The mere presence of a drug or medication in your bloodstream is not enough.
There is no “legal limit” for drugs similar to the .08% BAC legal limit for alcohol. Therefore, there is no blood alcohol content (BAC) with which to measure a driver’s level of intoxication due to drugs. A Drug Recognition Expert, or DRE, if often called to the scene to observe the suspect and make the determination of being under the influence. However, even experts cannot agree what concentration of drugs in the system makes a person too impaired to drive.
The California DMV cannot suspend your license for a DUID. The only exception to that rule is if you refuse to submit to chemical testing, or have a BAC of 0.8% in addition to being under the influence of a drug.
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