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Is It Ever Advisable To Admit Drug Usage To A Police Officer?


By telling an officer that you are on a prescription medication, you’re giving them more of a reason to further investigate you and do testing. A prescription for a medication is not a defense, although it is something that can be shown to the DA down the road. But I would not volunteer that type of information. I would not say anything to an officer other than what’s required in order to identify myself. The more information you give them, the more reason you’re giving them to further investigate and build a case against you.

If you are asked certain questions, I think that respectfully declining to answer is the way to go. If you do tell them that you’re on certain medications, then they will probably take it a step further and arrest you for DUI. Oftentimes they will tow your car, which will cost you thousands of dollars by the time they get the drug test done and decide whether or not to go after you. By giving them more information, you’re often just digging yourself a bigger hole.

Are Drug Related DUI Cases Easier To Defend Than Alcohol Based DUI Cases?

Generally speaking, I think drug related cases are harder to prove impairment on than alcohol related cases. This is because people have different levels of tolerance to different medications, and it’s hard to prove that a certain action was done as the result of the drug. It often comes down to the opinion of medical experts. Jurors tend to have a much harder time with these cases than they would, for example, with a case in which a person was not only driving badly, but was also shown to be well over the legal blood alcohol concentration. In those cases, all the prosecution needs for a conviction is for the jury to come back with the guilty verdict. Either the person drove while at or over a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08, or they didn’t. In drug related cases, you don’t have the per se 0.08. Instead, you could be dealing with just drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol. It is much more difficult for jurors to come up with the guilty verdict because it is an inexact science.

Do You Ever Deal With Other Drug Charges Such As Possession or Sale In a Drug Related DUI Case?

Typically, we’re not going to have a sales charge if it’s a DUI unless the person has a lot of packages to sell. It’s pretty rare that I get a case in which someone arrested for a DUI is found to have a lot of drugs in the car, although sometimes they’ll find a little bit of marijuana or cocaine. A previous drug charge is often not something we’re as concerned with, at least not as much as we were in years past. Most of my clients who are allegedly under the influence of a drug have a script for it (if it’s legal). Sometimes officers will find some pills or powder, but not very often. It doesn’t make a big difference in my cases.

What Are The Penalties For Drug Related DUI Cases In California?

The penalties for drug related DUIs are pretty much the same as they are for alcohol related DUIs. However, if you are convicted of a drug related DUI, then your driver’s license can be suspended for additional time by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

How Does A Prior DUI Conviction For An Alcohol Related Offense Impact A Drug Related DUI?

The penalties are very similar for a prior alcohol related offense and a drug related DUI. You are still looking at potential jail time, probation, fines and DUI classes. The classes are pretty much the same and the license issues are very similar. Now, what we always have to watch out for in these cases is the DMV thinking that someone is a habitual drug user. That is a problem because it can trigger a suspension that disallows someone from getting their license back until they can demonstrate over a period of time that they are not using a drug, which is something that’s going to require a number of drug tests to prove. So, that’s something that they have to watch out for, but as far as penalties are concerned, there are no big differences.

For more information on Admitting Drug Usage In A DUI Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

Aaron Bortel

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