Getting a DUI Because of Drug Addiction

California’s drunk and drugged driving laws are covered under sections 23152 to 23154 of the California Vehicle Code. Under these sections, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, and it’s illegal to drive under the influence of any drug, including lawfully prescribed medications.

California’s DUI laws also explain how a person can get a DUI if they are caught driving with less than .08% BAC as long as their ability to drive safely is impaired. So, aside from the above DUI laws, did you know it’s also illegal to drive if you’re addicted to a drug? This includes lawfully prescribed pain medications.

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 convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) if the state can prove that you’re addicted to a drug, any drug, including medications that were prescribed by your doctor.


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:

· Cocaine



· Hallucinogens

· Heroin

· Marijuana


Commonly abused prescription drugs:

· Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Methadone, and Oxycodone

· Xanax, Valium, and Halcion

· Lunesta, Ambien, and Sonata

· Prescription stimulants

· Rohypnol

· Steroids

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

Conversely, prescription opioids 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’re facing DUI charges due to an alleged drug addiction, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.for a free case evaluation!

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