Driving Under The Influence in Placer County and Nevada County
“Driving under the influence” has a specific legal meaning in California. For alcohol intoxication, under the influence is defined as a specific blood alcohol content or BAC. BAC is measured by weight and recorded by a breath test, urine test, or blood test. For other drugs, less conclusive tests are used to measure intoxication. Either way, the legal meaning of “under the influence” is impairment in driving ability due to intoxicating substances.
Alcohol DUIs in California
Because alcohol breath and urine testing are cheap, fast, and reasonably accurate it is regarded very highly as evidence in court. Alcohol DUIs are a “per se” crime. This means that even if a driver is not noticeably impaired, driving with a BAC above a 0.08% is itself illegal. This can result in DUI charges without reckless driving. For example, a driver with a high tolerance for alcohol may be able to drive without impairment, but is stopped for a busted tail light. The police officer notices the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath while asking him for his license and registration. After the driver complies and tests at 0.10% BAC, he is arrested. Even a simple violation like this can result in a DUI if the driver has been drinking. This can be problematic for drivers who have a high tolerance for alcohol and misjudge their own alcohol levels.
Prescription Drug DUIs
Prescription drugs such as opiate based pain killers, muscle relaxers and some psychiatric medications may cause their legal (and illegal) users to be arrested. These types of arrests are very common among elderly drivers and drivers coping with a disability such as back pain. Some athletes run afoul of these laws after managing sports injuries with prescription pain meds. Once again, it doesn’t take much to get arrested for a DUI; a moment of inattention while driving is all it takes.
Illegal Drug DUIs
With illegal drugs the DUI charges are often considered secondary to the drug possession charges. Even so, it is important to have an attorney skilled in defending against all the charges. DUI penalties may be the least severe in these cases, but dealing with DUI classes and fines make it more difficult to resume a normal life after serving a prison sentence. Think of the future and always hire a skilled DUI lawyer to minimize your sentence and penalties.
Bad Plea Deals For Drug DUIs
These cases can be harder for prosecutors to prove due to the difficulty in testing for all drugs. Furthermore, there isn’t a set amount of drugs that is considered legally “influential”. The prosecutors will sometimes offer a plea of reckless driving to the defendant, both to secure a conviction, and to save the state money and time. Many defendants accept the plea deal, not understanding how much evidence the prosecutor has. These cases could be dismissed with the help of a skilled DUI attorney who knows how prosecutors think.