Drug-Related DUI Charges
Interviewer: How different are drug-related DUIs as opposed to alcohol-related DUIs?
The Suspension of Your Driver’s License Follows a Different Procedure in a Drug-Related DUI
Paul Geller: On a drug-related case there is a different procedure that deals with the suspension of your license and that stems more from the court conviction. There are processes by which a person can lose their license potentially on the administrative side. It’s not the same as what we call the per se statute of being a .08 or higher that becomes operative 30 days after the date of arrest in an alcohol case.
Many Drug-Related DUIs Are Attributed to Prescription Medication
Instead of being charged with a B count or the per se statute of .08 or higher they are charged with that code section I mentioned earlier, the A count, and that is driving under the influence of alcohol and or drugs to the extent that they are unable to drive their vehicle safely.
Many of these are attributed to marijuana, other illegal substances or prescription medication. A number also are attributed to sleeping aids or antidepressants. Those although they may be properly prescribed can still cause someone to be charged with a DUI.
California Has Enacted New Legislation in 4 Counties That Require Drivers Convicted of DUI to Install the Ignition Interlock Device into Their Vehicle
Interviewer: Is there any other topic in regards to DUI that you’d like to touch on?
Paul Geller: Yes, just one other thing is that there are 4 other counties in California right now, Los Angeles being one of them that require first time offenders to install an ignition airlock device into their vehicle if convicted of a DUI. So the ramifications for a DUI, at least in LA County have also become more severe to a person who gets even a simple conviction.
It Is a Mistake to Plead Guilty, Thinking the Penalties Are Light for a First Offense DUI
Let’s say they go out and get stuck in a check point and they blow a .09% just above the legal limit. They had a few drinks, nothing major, no bad driving, but they gave a breath test and now it’s a DUI case. They feel that they should just go to court and do the alcohol program and possibly pay a small fine.
Drivers Must Install and Maintain the DMV-Ordered Interlock Device for 5 Months
They are not realizing that it’s not something that’s going to be ordered by the court but the DMV is going to send them a notice indicating that they’re not getting their license back until they put that ignition airlock device on their vehicle for 5 months at least.
That’s one of those things that if a person is not familiar with the ramifications of a DUI, they will unfortunately quickly learn the hard way. And it pays to avoid the DUI mill type lawyer that doesn’t fully represent the client because they’re working on heavier volume and not interested in really trying to assist this person on a personal level.
It really does a disservice to those of us who really know what we are doing and ultimately to the client. And that’s just not proper when you’re talking about the ramifications of criminal convictions.