What is an Ambien DUI?

An Ambien DUI would be one where someone is taking some sort of a sleeping pill that has affected their driving. Ambien is used by many people for sleep and generally wants users to dedicate a certain amount of time to sleep. There are often warnings that this prescription medication should not be taken with alcohol but users sometimes ignore that warning. Ambien can affect one’s driving if taken frequently or if taken near the time of driving.

Vehicle Code 23152 is the code that governs DUI’s as a whole in San Diego. It represents DUI law and has multiple different code sections attached to it. For example, VC 23152 (a) represents someone who is “driving under the influence”. VC 23152 (b) represents someone who is driving at or above a .08. Now often people ask us if you can get a DUI from something other than alcohol, and the answer is yes. VC 23152 (e) says that you cannot be under the influence of any drug while driving.

What is considered driving the vehicle in regards to DUIs in San Diego?

One needs to be actually driving the vehicle. In California, that means volitional movement. In other states this can mean just operating the vehicle, but here in California there has to be some actual movement. If an officer did not see you driving then they will likely try and use circumstantial evidence to prove that you were. If they do not have the requisite circumstantial evidence, then this is a case that a good San Diego criminal attorney could likely win at trial.

In San Diego, what is considered “Being Under the Influence of a Drug?”

Being under the influence of a drug means that you, as the driver, cannot drive to the level that someone with ordinary care in similar circumstances could. This means that you can use the drug, and if it does not seem to effect you, then you would not be considered under the influence. The problem is, when officers in San Diego hear that someone has taken a drug, even if it has been prescribed to them, they immediately do everything they can to prove that this individual is under the influence.

The officers will look at field sobriety tests, the individuals driving, and their responses to questions that have been asked. They will also take a blood test of the individual and send it to the lab so the prosecutor can use the results in their case. Unlike in an alcohol based DUI where the limit is .08%, an Ambien or other drug based DUI doesn’t necessarily have an acceptable limit and it changes from person to person.

This crime is something that is very hard for the prosecution to prove if they are up against an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney. If you have been charged with a drug DUI or an Ambien DUI, feel free to call Ozols Law Firm for a free consultation. If you are looking for advice on purely non-dui criminal defense issues then feel free to check out the San Diego Criminal Lawyer page for more information.