Defense of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
Do you know someone who is facing a DUI case involving marijuana or some other drug? In California
it is illegal to drive while "under the influence" of either drugs or alcohol or both. With regard to alcohol,
the science and the law are much more clear given the "per se" illegal level of .08% by weight. Drugs,
however do not have a per se level of illegal impairment. The offense of driving under the influence of
drugs is usually based upon the opinion testimony of a police officer or "drug recognition expert".
Many Police and law enforcement agencies, including the Santa Clarita CHP, have developed their
own discipline for the sole purpose of detecting, detaining, arresting and obtaining criminal convictions
of DUI defendants.
The danger in the area of "drug recognition experts" in a Court of Law lies in the likelihood of juries
falling prey to a aura of authority and authenticity embodied in the so called police "expert". In too
many cases the prosecution will attempt to place too much weight on the opinion of the experts even
though they are often lacking in objective science. The danger of convictions in Court despite credible
evidence to establish a specific drug or proving actual impairment at the time of driving is real.
Imagine you are driving home from a party or social function late in the evening and you are pulled over
for some simple traffic violation such as speeding or not using a turn signal. The police officer notices
your eyes are blood shot and watery and asks you if you have been drinking. You explain that you have
not had anything of an alcoholic nature and that you are just tired and lacking sleep. The officer
suspects you are DUI and requests you submit to a series of field sobriety tests and take a breath test.
You oblige the officer and your breath test comes back .00 for alcohol. Despite your cooperation and
the negative breath test, he arrests you and take you back to the station where a drug recognition
expert (DRE) can examine you because the officer believes you are under the influence of drugs.
At the station you submit to more tests such as eye examinations, pulse checks, muscle tone
examinations, walking and standing tests, etc. The officer concludes that you are under the influence
of drugs and arrests you for DUI despite your pleas that you have never used drugs. You will find
yourself in Court facing charges of VC 23152(a) and you will need to know your rights.
When this happens you need a Lawyer that knows the law and the science. You need a Criminal
Defense Attorney who will fight for you aggressively in Court and at the DMV. We can represent you in
Court and get wrongful DUI charges dismissed. You need a lawyer who has done research of the
science in the area such as a 1994 study by the New England Journal of Medicine on the Testing of
Drivers for Cocaine and Marijuana Intoxication. There is too much at stake to try and represent yourself
or have an attorney that is unfamiliar with this highly technical and specialized area of the Law.
Call our office today to speak directly with Attorney Matthew Ruff at 1-877-281-5010