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Drug Addiction and DUI in California

As a Californian, you’ve been around the block and you know that it’s against the law to drink and drive. California’s drunk driving laws are covered under sections 23152, 23153, and 23154 of the California Vehicle Code, and under these sections, it discusses how it’s against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, and how it’s illegal to drive under the influence of any drug (including prescriptions).

These laws also discuss how a person can still get a DUI if they are caught driving with less than .08% alcohol in their system so long as their ability to drive safely is impaired. Aside from what most California drivers already know about the state’s DUI laws, did you know that it’s against the law to drive if you’re addicted to a drug?

Under Section 23152(c) of the California Vehicle Code, it’s illegal for a person who is addicted to any drug to drive a motor vehicle. However, this law does not apply to someone who is actively participating in a narcotic treatment program.

What does this mean to you? It means that you can be arrested and subsequently convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) if the state can prove that you’re addicted to a drug, any drug, including a lawfully prescribed medication.

Commonly Abused Drugs in the United States

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most of the abused drugs can alter the way a person thinks, they can affect judgement and they can lead to health risks, such as drugged driving and addiction. Commonly abused street drugs according to the NIH include:

  • Ayahuasca
  • Cocaine
  • DMT
  • GHB
  • Hallucinogens
  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • MDMA
  • And more

Commonly abused prescription drugs:

  • Prescription opioids (e.g. Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Methadone, and Oxycodone)
  • Prescription sedatives (e.g. Xanax, Valium, and Halicon)
  • Sleep medications (e.g. Lunesta, Ambien, and Sonata)
  • Prescription stimulants
  • Psilocybin
  • Rohypnol
  • Steroids

Today, addiction to prescription medications is a common and widespread problem, and one that is affecting the safety of our roads. Sedating medications, for example, cause a host of dangerous side effects, such as slurred speech, confusion, dizziness, slowed breathing, and problems with movement.

Prescription opioids on the other hand can cause drowsiness, confusion, slowed breathing and even death. When combined with alcohol, they cause a dangerous slowing of the heart rate and breathing, which can put the person in a coma, or in the worse cases, the deadly combination can be fatal.

If you are facing DUI charges because of a supposed “drug addiction,” we urge to contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free case evaluation!