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DUI Not Limited to Alcohol

Most licensed drivers in California are well-aware of the fact that it’s illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. After all, schools, MADD, local, state and federal governments have conducted major anti-drinking and driving campaigns for years. It’s pretty hard for people not to know about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Alcohol awareness aside, a lot of licensed drivers are not knowledgeable on the full extent of California’s driving under the influence laws. Meaning, they know it’s illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol, but there are drivers who don’t realize it’s also illegal to drive under the influence of drugs – both legal and illegal substances.

What Does the Law Say?

California’s DUI laws are covered under Section 23152 of the California Vehicle Code. Section 23152(a) for example reads, “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.”

Now, let’s take a look at the section that addresses driving under the influence of drugs: Section 23152(f) reads, “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.”

So, “any drug” doesn’t just mean illegal drugs, like cocaine, LSD, methamphetamines, and PCP. It also means anylawfully-prescribed drug, or medication taken without a legal prescription, including but not limited to:

  • Oxycodone
  • Ritalin
  • Adderall
  • Concerta
  • Xanax
  • Vicodin
  • Percocet
  • Valium
  • Ambien
  • Phenobarbital

To learn more about the dangers of drugged driving, click here.

The penalties for driving under the influence of a controlled substance, illegal drugs, or a lawfully-prescribed medication are the same as alcohol-related DUI offenses. The penalties for a first drug or alcohol-related DUI in California are as follows:

  • Up to four-month license suspension
  • Up to five years of DUI probation
  • DUI School for 3 to 9 months
  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Up to six months in jail

If you were arrested for DUI of drugs, we urge you to contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. at once to schedule your free case evaluation. As a board-certified specialist in DUI Defense, Attorney Landry is prepared to defend you.