Ventura DUI – Prescription Drugs
Ventura DUI cases involving substances other than alcohol are becoming increasingly common. The Ventura County District Attorney's Office routinely prosecutes people for DUI who have no alcohol whatsoever in their systems, but do take medication for pain or anxiety or sleep disorders or any of a number of other valid uses.
Unfortunately, many of these medications can affect your ability to drive a vehicle safely, and most people are surprised to learn that they can be charged for DUI in Ventura County when they have just taken their prescription medication.
Vehicle Code Section 23152(a)
In a driving under the influence of a prescription drug case, the government must prove that your mental or physical abilities are so impaired that you are no longer able to drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances.
Blood Test Results – Not Enough
The mere fact that the medication shows up in your blood test is not enough for the prosecution to establish that you are guilty of a DUI in Ventura County, as they also must prove what you took, how much you took of it, when you took it, and that the drugs are legally impairing your driving. Additionally, unlike a DUI involving alcohol, there is no automatic legal limit with respect to driving with prescription drugs in your system.
Law Enforcement Officers – Poorly Trained
The training that most officers receive in Ventura County DUI investigations typically involves alcohol, and the standardized Field Sobriety Tests they are trained to administer also concern alcohol. Additionally, the breath machines only detect the presence of alcohol. If you did not do a blood (or urine) test, then any prescription drugs you may have taken will not show up in your test results.
Prosecution – On the Rise
Despite the myriad of difficulties in prosecuting prescription drug cases, the Ventura County District Attorney's office routinely and increasingly files charges in cases based in large part due to your own admission of having taken prescription drugs.
Ventura DUI Attorney Jasen Nielsen
As a former Ventura DUI prosecutor who has defended many clients charged with prescription drug DUI cases, I have the knowledge and experience to attack the prosecution's case against you, as well as the wisdom to mitigate those cases that cannot be won. If you have been arrested for a prescription drug DUI in Ventura County, please call me today at (805)564-4DUI for a free consultation.