Mention a DUI arrest and people conjure up images of a drunk driver. “Drunk driving” arrests don’t just happen for drinkers, however. Any substance that can impair your driving can result in a drunk driving arrest.
In California, where individuals can use recreational marijuana legally, drivers can face impaired driving charges, if an officer sees specific signs of impairment. Additionally, drivers can also face charges after using a prescription medication that impairs the user’s driving abilities.
While states can more easily set standards for what constitutes alcohol impairment, measuring drug impairments aren’t always straightforward. Every person metabolizes drugs differently, and few states set scientifically supported standards for drug impairments. A fixed amount of a drug does not reliably produce the same level of impairment in every person.
As a result, California relies on officer observations to determine whether a person meets the definition of impaired. Initially, an officer’s observations also play an important role in identifying potentially alcohol-impaired drivers. DUI checkpoints allow officers to visually inspect drivers for signs of impairment. Outward signs – appearance, smell, speech, physical coordination – can lead an officer to suspect impairment. Officers can run preliminary tests for alcohol impairment at the traffic stop. Drug impairment evaluation requires more time and doesn’t always include a precise measurement of “how impaired” a driver is.
Ventura DUI Lawyer
When you face charges for a DUI in Ventura, hire an experienced DUI lawyer like Robert Helfend. Whether you face charges for an alcohol-related driving offense or a marijuana related offense, your best defense is an aggressive, experienced criminal defense lawyer.
While the determination of impairment may be different, the results of a DUI conviction are the same. You can lose your license, pay hefty fines, spend time in jail and be required to meet a number of conditions to get your license back. Impaired driving cases (and their defenses) can be complicated. Don’t attempt to defend yourself, and don’t assume that there’s nothing you can do.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County DUI case.
Photo Credit: 911 Bail Bonds Las Vegas, via Flickr.com