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Recent Changes to Los Angeles DUI Law – Part 3

  • September 2, 2017

    As with many localities across the country, the legislature governing the Los Angeles has recently changed the laws relating to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. In the past, the law was quite nebulous and simple in so far as simply stating that it was illegal to drive a vehicle if there is a certain amount of drugs or alcohol in your system. As of January 1, 2014, the law has been expanded to talk specifically only about drugs. Within this revision is a notable and important change that everyone should be aware of. The new law is important to warrant a conversation with a criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with a DUI in Los Angeles. To get that conversation started, here is some more information about these changes that you should find helpful.

    Subsection (c) of the California Vehicle Code

    This section of the law has been amended to state that any person who is known to be addicted to any drug is not permitted to drive a motorized vehicle. This subsection specifically doe not apply to any individual who is currently taking part in a treatment program for narcotics by an approved service provider. This is further described in Article 3 (beginning with Section 11875) of the first chapter of Part 3 – Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

    This change is actually quite important because none of these provision were included in this section before January of 2014. It is now against the law for any addict to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive it. The Department of Motor Vehicles is now empowered with the authority to either suspend or revoke any driver’s license indefinitely if this provision is violated. All they have to do is prove that an individual in question is an addict. Do note that any person who is verified to be attending an approved narcotics treatment program, either as a part of a previously handed down court sentence or as rehabilitation, is immune from this provision of the new law.

    The New Application to Drug Use

    As mentioned before, the law used to combine the use of drugs and alcohol. The new changes treat them as separate entities, as noted by California Code 23152. This states that it is against the law from any individual who is under the influence of any drug whatsoever to drive a motorized vehicle. The important thing to note with this change is that the new statute does not actually stipulate what guidelines are to be used to determine if a person is under the influence of a certain drug. The reason behind this is purposeful, as it is not easy to determine when a person is actually under the influence of a drug.

    This revise statute does not stop there, as the legislature also added the following provision: It is against the law from any individual who is under the combined influence of any type of alcoholic beverage and a drug to operate a vehicle. This means that if you have even one drink and then take part in illicit drug activity, you could be charged with a DUI under this new law.

    What This Means to You

    There are now more ways to get caught and charged with a DUI in Los Angeles than ever before. If you find that you are charged with such an offense, you will want to contact our office as soon as possible. It is important to know your rights and to have legal representation every step of the way. A DUI is a serious offense. A conviction can wreck your life, as it has the propensity to make employment difficult to obtain and family connections are often broken as a result of the impose penalties. You will want to have a lawyer on your side in order to mount a solid defense and to fight the charges that have been levied against you.

    If you have been stopped for being under the influence of drugs, it could be harder to prove than if you were under the influence of alcohol. Contact our office today for a consultation to discuss your particular case.

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