Defenses that beat CVC 23152(f) cases:
CVC 23152(f) is a relatively new vehicle code section that prohibits driving with a combination of drugs and alcohol in a driver’s system. In order for a prosecutor to charge a driver under this new misdemeanor statute, there must be a blood test showing the driver had drugs/alcohol in his or her system. Defenses to this charge focus on attacking the blood results.
CVC23152F: California’s DUI law that prohibits Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol.
CVC 23152F is the California Vehicle Code subsection that prohibits drivers from driving under the combined effects of drugs and alcohol. Before the 2014 amendment to the California Vehicle Code, only Alcohol related DUI cases were prosecuted (along with some drug DUI cases). Drug cases were more difficult to prosecute because of the wording of CVC 23152. In the past, the language of CVC 23152 was designed to address alcohol related DUI and left “wiggle room” for defense attorneys to defend drug DUI cases.
How “Combined Drug and Alcohol DUI cases work: CVC 23152f and the rules of the road.
Alcohol related DUI cases by them-selves (involving only alcohol and no drugs) are prosecuted under CVC 23152A or CVC23152B. Drug DUI cases (involving only drugs and no alcohol) are prosecuted under CVC 23152E.
This reflects the segregation of Drug and Alcohol DUI into separate cases categories.
What is the “Legal Limit” for Drug Cases under CVC 23152F?
Alcohol DUI cases involve a ‘hard’ limit: the 0.08% “per se” legal limit of Blood Alcohol Concentration. Drug cases do not have a “legal limit” because the scientific research that developed the “per-se” limit for alcohol DUI cases is not as advanced for drug cases. There simply aren’t enough studies that show the “safe” or otherwise “unsafe” levels of drugs in a driver’s system that could cause impairment.
This is very significant when fighting Drug DUI charges. Without a legal limit to rely on, prosecutors cannot establish impairment by simply showing what the person’s drug levels were in their system. Prosecutors have to establish “impairment” by external evidence:
-Poor driving (such as speeding or lane straddling)
-Poor performance of field sobriety tests
-Evidence of an accident
In cases where the police stopped a motorist for something benign like a broke tail light, this can be quite difficult for prosecutors to overcome.