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DUI Law CA (amended 2014) Separates out Drugs and Alcohol Charges

Vehicle Code §23152 (commonly known as DUI) was amended earlier this year. The big difference was that under the old code, section (a), a defendant was charged as being under the influence of any drug or alcohol, or a combination thereof. Thus, criminal defense attorneys had to make sure to cross out any reference of drugs in the proceedings (in the situation where it was only driving under the influence of alcohol). As you can guess, the old code made much confusion among prosecutors and defense attorneys.  More importantly, it made immigration attorneys cringe over any mention of the word “drug” on one’s criminal record! Sometimes, in plea negotiations, defense attorneys even preferred to plea their clients guilty to section (b), rather than (a) to not risk any implications of the word “drug”. In employment context, it used to be a good idea to plea to the (b) count to avoid the possibility of a prospective employer unsuspectingly looking up the code on the internet and read the word “drug”. Now, the 2014 statute separated out influence of drugs to its own section (section (e); or (f) if under the combined influence of alcohol and drug). 2014′s code read that neither section (a) nor (b) has the word “drug”.

 

V C Section 23152 Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

23152.  (a) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.

(b) It is unlawful for a person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.

For purposes of this article and Section 34501.16, percent, by weight, of alcohol in a person’s blood is based upon grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving.

(c) It is unlawful for a person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle. This subdivision shall not apply to a person who is participating in a narcotic treatment program approved pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 11875) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

(d) It is unlawful for a person who has 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in Section 15210.

In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving.

(e) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.

(f) It is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle.

(g) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2014.

Amended Sec. 2, Ch. 753, Stats. 2012. Effective January 1, 2014.

About Charlotte Lin

Charlotte is a trusted lawyer by day, and legal ninja by night. In her spare time she enjoys slashing tickets with nunchucks.