Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) makes it a criminal offense to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs or the combined influence of alcohol and drugs. This standard language is found on every criminal complaint and it often causes concern to defendants who understood that they had been charged with DUI related to alcohol, but now see an allegation of a DUI related to drugs.

In situations where a plea to DUI is unavoidable, it is normally advisable to plead to the second count in the complaint which is driving with a breath or blood alcohol level of over .08% pursuant to Vehicle Code section 232152(b). The court would then dismiss count one thus avoiding the concern about the language relating to drugs. Otherwise, a motion should be made to strike the language relating to drugs from the complaint if the allegation of DUI is based on alcohol only.

Ofcourse, if the DUI allegation is based on drugs, Section 23152(a) is the only appropriate charge.

If you have been charged with a DUI based on alcohol or drugs in Los Angeles or Orange County and you have questions about defending your case, please call drunk driving defense lawyers Gold & Witham for expert advice.


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