A 22-year-old man from Sebastopol was recently arrested on charges of driving under the influence of drugs, methamphetamines, driving without a license, and other charges after being pulled over near Bohemian Highway. His explanation as to why he was driving erratically is that he was on his way to see Santa Claus at the North Pole. Allegedly, the man also resisted arrest and had to be cleared by medical officials before his detainment.
Although most commonly referred to as a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), there is another term for driving while under the specific influence of drugs – a DUID (CA Vehicle Code 23152(a)). California law draws a distinction between driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of drugs. A ‘drug’ is thus defined as a substance other than alcohol that would prevent you from driving like any other person under normal conditions. This includes any kind of drug, whether it be an over the counter (OTC) substance, an illegal drug, or a prescription medication.
Penalties for violation of this law (even if it is a first offense) are harsh. Fines can reach $1,800 and you could spend up to 5 years in state prison, though this often depends on your prior record being taken into account. Additionally, your driver’s license will likely be suspended and you will have to complete a course at a state-approved DUI school. These are just typical penalties; however, the consequences can become even direr if your arrest constitutes a second or third offense.