Driving under the influence of any drug is illegal, and treated the same as drunk driving. This includes legal medication.
Under California law, it is illegal to drive under the influence of any substance that could impair your driving. This includes not only alcohol, but any kind of drug or medication as well—whether it’s legal or illegal. Many drivers have been surprised to find that they can be arrested and booked for DUI because they showed signs of being stoned or even because they admitted to using prescription pain relievers.
California’s definition of a substance that could impair driving is that it, “affects the nervous system, brain, or muscles.” This can include:
- Illegal drugs like ecstasy, cocaine, or mushrooms
- Marijuana, whether it is legal or illegal (even with a prescription)
- Legal prescription medications like Vicodin or Percocet
- Over the counter medications like cough syrup
Officers will use some discretion. Tylenol, for example, does not really alter your perception or ability to drive, and admitting to using it won’t count as a DUI. But Tylenol Cold & Flu makes you drowsy, and could result in an arrest.
If you are arrested for a suspected drug DUI charge, you will likely be given a urine test. The presence of any of these drugs in your system will count as evidence against you. However, urine tests are unreliable. A good DUI lawyer may be able to win your case for you. You can read more about drug DUI charges here: Which drugs/substances can cause me to get a “Drug DUI” in California?
Have you been charged with DUI? We can connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your free consultation today.