Don't be surprised: America's #1 prescription medication can also lead to a DUI charge.
As with alcohol, California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) outlaws driving under the influence of drugs or medication, imposing penalties that are mostly similar alcoholic DUI. Known as California DUI of Drugs or Medication, this means some drug or medication has so impaired a person's capacity that he cannot drive with the ability or caution of a reasonable sober person.
Vicodin is a very common basis for this charge because America's #1 prescribed medication can cause side-effects that impair driving ability, such as slowed-down physical reactions, clouded thinking, memory loss, and fatigue.
Our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers observe that California DUI of Vicodin charges shock and scare people for because: (1) patients often don't receive or understand the importance of warnings about driving after taking Vicodin; (2) law enforcement tends to arrest drivers for no other reason than discovering it in their car or clothing; and (3) many assume their arrest assures conviction, especially those who obtain and take Vicodin without a legal prescription.
Do not let shock and fear guide your response. We have defended numerous California DUI of Vicodin charges. For example, demonstrating an officer stopped a driver without adequate legal justification will lead a judge to throw out any evidence related to a subsequent DUI arrest, regardless of whether the driver was in lawful possession of Vicodin or not.
Additionally, even if the results of a chemical DUI blood test come back positive for Vicodin, that's not conclusive proof a driver was "under the influence." Patrol car videos and even police reports can demonstrate that a person with a detectable level of Vicodin in her system was still legally able to operate a car.
Finally, whether a case involves Vicodin that was possessed legally or illegally has no bearing on proving California DUI of Vicodin. Our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers make sure prosecutors don't make clients feel like it does and require them to treat illegal drug allegations as the separate and unrelated charges they are.