California Vehicle Code Section
23152 (a) makes it illegal for one to, drive, "under the influence of an alcoholic
beverage, or a drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage
and a drug." This can be just as true in regard to lawfully prescribed
medication, as seriously illegal controlled substances.
In today's pressure packed world, what we are seeing more and more
of, are situations where individuals are taking a wide range of drugs
- in addition to a limited (a drink or two) amount of an alcoholic beverage.
But just because a given individual took some kind of prescription or
non-prescription drug, with a limited amount of alcohol, does not necessarily
mean that that person would be thereafter automatically driving in violation
of California law if they drove a vehicle.
How Can I Be Convicted Of DUI?
When cases such as this are fought out in court, what it comes down to
is the judge instructing the jury on what the California law is at the
end of the case. The California Criminal Jury Instructions for misdemeanor
(non-injury) DUI are found in CALCRIM Sections 2010 and 2011.
In this regard,
2010 provides in part:
A person is under the influence if, as a result of drinking or consuming
an alcoholic beverage and or taking a drug, his or her mental or physical
abilities are so impaired that he or she is no longer able to drive a
vehicle with the caution of a sober person, using ordinary care, under
The manner in which a person drives is not enough by itself to establish
whether the person is or is not under the influence of an alcoholic beverage
or a drug or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and
a drug. However, it is a factor to be considered, in light of all the
surrounding circumstances, in deciding whether the person was under the
So under the facts of a given case, was the driver, so impaired that he
was, "no longer able to drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober
person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances?" That is
the question - for the Jury to answer.
When you have been accused of
DUI in San Diego, the experience of being accused and going through trial is one that no
one should experience on their own. With the help of Attorney Mark De
Yoe, you have a proven and seasoned advocate on your side that will not
stop until you recover your best possible outcome.