DUI & Drugs

Marijuana Driving: Now Legal In California

We all live in a modern society that is slowly and yet inevitably getting rid of all the superstitions as well as prejudice. However, some things still remain unclear. For instance, why are alcoholic beverages as well as cigarettes that contain nicotine are available in just about every store, whereas cannabis that is far from being as detrimental as the above-mentioned substances, is still mostly illegal. After all, alcohol consumption does not only ruin one’s life – it easily ruins the lives of his friends and loved ones. And nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs out there and one that will not let you go easily. On the other hand, we have cannabis. Sure, it has psychotropic effects, but it will not send you to Valhalla, unlike alcohol and will not destroy your lungs completely like nicotine.

One way or the other, the recent news are actually booming with news on marijuana legalization in California. California used to be a state where medical marijuana was legalized long ago and now the state went even further. Although some people may see it as a negative thing, others indicate that after marijuana was legalized in other states, the number of marijuana driving accidents decreased significantly and this really gives hope that it will also be a factor in California.

Nevertheless, California has some very strict laws that refer to driving under the influence of alcohol or any type of psychoactive substances. Yet, there is a nuance – the law does not specify how much cannabis is allowed in one’s blood while he or she is operating the vehicle. Furthermore, it is pretty problematic to establish that limit. Hence, the attorneys are reminding that the DUI laws in this case fall under the “driving with the caution of a sober person” characteristic.

Marijuana Breathalyzer

Yet, a number of states managed to implement the special THC testing that is meant to determine if a person is “driving under the influence of marijuana”. Still, those limitations are actually ridiculous – the amount allowed THC in one’s system is so insignificantly low that it cannot even be distinguished from residual THC after using marijuana in the past. However, California intends to come up with a new kind of testing that will allow to get better and fair results. The initiative is yet to move forward for now. One thing is clear – it is absolutely, 100% legal for a medical marijuana cardholder to be driving around with cannabis, as long as he or she is not driving under the influence of that very substance.

There is also another side of the coin – in San Diego, for instance, the law enforcement authorities are actually boasting that their marijuana DUI conviction rate demonstrated a near 100% increase. In addition, they received nearly $300 000 in fines. Scientists there are also claiming that consuming marijuana in any amounts and then proceeding to operate a vehicle is absolutely detrimental and should be prohibited. Yet, other theories exist as well and they are even delivering some evidence, which is pointing out that driving under the influence of marijuana is even safer than without it.

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Sure enough, whether you are going to get in trouble while driving under the influence of cannabis is completely up to you and your very own manner of driving on the road. It is very important, crucial even, to make sure that you are not speeding, not running the traffic lights and not changing lanes frantically, since those are the most common reasons for car accidents around the country.

Although driving under the influence of cannabis is clearly controversial, some things are far more dangerous for drivers/ For example, the official statistics demonstrate a disturbing tendency – more and more people across the nation are injured or even killed because a driver was texting or talking on his or her phone while operating the vehicle.

One thing is certain – Uber is going to make more money, since more and more people will need to use its services. Furthermore, more and more people will prefer to get a cab instead of Sacramento DUI charges and taxi services are also going to increase their profits.

John Williams, ESQ
The Sacramento DUI Specialists

Prescription Drugs In The Modern Society

Illegal drugs were always deemed as somewhat of a curse of the lower class members of the modern society. People are used to believe that these drugs are used only by those individuals, who have very poor living conditions and by those who no longer may be considered people at all.

Well, it is pretty ironic, seeing how the drugs that are now being deemed as illegal were sold in pharmacies all over the nation only over a century ago. That is right – cocaine, morphine, heroine – all of those terrible, detrimental as well as habit forming drugs were used as painkillers and nerve calmers. Doctors used to prescribe those drugs to a large number of patients and their side effects were all considered relatively few and mild. Then again, there was time when the doctors were sure that cigarette smoking helps you in clearing the lungs. As a result, the society was creating new drug addicts who could not live without a new dose of their favorite remedy. And of course, being under the influence of drugs while driving, it is considered as DUI offense.

With that said, it just goes to show that even the most qualified and experienced healthcare professionals can be wrong as well as genuinely negligent. Unfortunately, people these days are also suffering from a similar situation. We are, of course, talking about all sorts of prescription drugs that results in hundreds of deaths every day.

Indeed, these days it is quite fashionable to be using prescription drugs. Just about every single housewife is using Xanax to “calm her nerves”. Everybody is doing it, so why not try. After all, those prescription drugs are often used by the society’s pop idols along with things like Vicodin, Oxycodone and OxyContin. Young people are attracted by those “remedies”, since their idols are constantly saying that they would not be able to live without those.

Are Prescription Drugs Problem To The Society?

However, those prescription drugs are not only the problem of the modern generation. Too many senior individuals have a habit of misusing their prescription drugs. The official statistical data clearly demonstrates that nearly 300 000 elderly people are misusing prescription drugs and this causes significant health related problems. Too many healthcare professionals are either too negligent or unwilling to look for more complex ways of dealing with health related issues. Instead, they are prescribing all those drugs in order to deal with a huge variety of conditions – from joint pain and up to depression.

So what are the main factors that lead to heavy drug abuse as well as consequent addiction? Who is to blame and what may be the solution to this genuinely disturbing problem?

Well, first of all, those drugs are readily available in just about any pharmacy on the market. Once again, the doctors are quite quick at prescribing the drugs even to those people, who do not need them as badly. And the people themselves are led by a simple logic – the drug was prescribed by a healthcare expert, it was issued to me by a pharmacist, so it must mean that the drug is 100% effective and safe.

Furthermore, you will be genuinely surprised after you will find out just how many senior individuals are suffering from severe prescription drug addiction these days. With age, people are starting to suffer from all kinds of pain that may make your life unbearable. Of course, you will go to the doctor in search for help. Too bad that most doctors will not be looking for serious ways of helping you and will stick to the more immediate solutions. Elderly individuals are getting prescription drugs, but over some time their organism develops a tolerance, so they need higher doses of the drugs in order to feel good, which leads to severe addiction – it is very disturbing, since all illegal substances work in this way.

Prescription drugs may prove to be genuinely dangerous for the people, who never used to think of themselves as drug addicts. For example, OxyContin or simply Oxy was known as the “hillbilly heroin”, since it was used by a number of Appalachian communities. It was one of the largest problems for the law enforcement authorities. However, over time, Oxy became more expensive due to bigger demand. Yet, a lot of Oxy users figured out that heroin has the absolute same effect, but does not cost as much. Hence, Oxy turned into a real gateway drug for people, who were successful in the community. We are talking about attorneys, law enforcement officers, doctors. When some of those people were in the detox they were asked how they come to this and why they started using heroin in the first place? The answer was simple – prescription drugs were at the root of the problem.

What Is Triplicate Prescription Program?

A lot of governmental authorities were trying to handle the issue, but California went a bit further – the Triplicate Prescription Program (TPP) was created back in 1939. It was collecting information regarding the so-called Schedule II drugs. These are the most common prescription drugs, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Hydrocodone and others. In 1999 the CURES program replaced the TPP initiative. CURES (Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System) is a special database of all Schedule II-IV controlled prescription drugs. Furthermore, California Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) was introduced in 2009 as a client oriented component of the CURES> Both programs are meant to fight against prescription drug abuse and to serve as the most reliable sources of investigative as well as research information regarding prescription drugs in California.

One way or the other, if you are going to be willing to look a little bit closer to the issue – the problem of prescription drug abuse in America, you will be able to understand that it is largely based on all the core American values – we are all used to finding quick solutions to our problems and we are looking for the most rapid and convenient results. This, however, does not justify all the means we deem as necessary.

John Williams, ESQ
The Sacramento DUI Specialists

Are Drugs Considered Illegal While Operating a Vehicle?

Whenever someone is talking about DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal substance), most people immediately imagine a person who was operating his or her vehicle under the influence of alcohol. While it is so in most cases, it does not necessarily mean that every DUI case is about alcohol only. Driving while intoxicated or impaired also implies operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs – both legal and illegal substances. Regardless of whether it was marijuana or cocaine, it is illegal to drive in a mental state that is clouded by the drugs.

With that said, if a person is pulled over at a DUI checkpoint and alcohol tests did not demonstrate that there is any alcohol in the blood, it does not necessarily mean that the law enforcement officer is going to let a person go. It does not work that way. If the law enforcement officer is going to have any reasons to believe that you were in fact driving under the influence of any drug, he or she will want to look into your vehicle. If there are any drugs there, you will not only be charged with DUI, but also with possession, which are both serious charges.

Being charged with DUI or possession may have a genuinely devastating impact on your day to day life. Legal penalties do not only involve expensive fines as well as community service – we are talking about losing driving privileges, ruining professional reputation, getting a serious criminal record and even going to jail.

It is very important to have a professional Sacramento DUI lawyer by your side in order to make sure that the sentence is minimized. Furthermore, only the lawyer will be able to question the legality of police’s actions, thus putting your arrest under a big question. There is even a chance that the case will be dismissed. Still, in order to make the most, you will have to be 100% honest with your lawyer and the attorney himself should tell you about all possible outcomes as it is.

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DUI charges: It doesn’t have to be an alcohol

When it comes to the DUI charges (Driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal substance), the vast majority of people for some reason imagine driving, while being drunk. Of course, most DUI cases are somehow related to alcohol, but being intoxicated does not necessarily mean alcohol only. Various illegal substances and even some prescription drugs can induce the driver into a state of intoxication.

As if driving under the influence of alcohol was not bad enough, in case you were driving while being intoxicated with some type of drugs, you risk facing additional charges, which will make your case more difficult and penalties more severe. Furthermore, if the law enforcement officer, who pulled you over, will have reasons to believe that you were driving under the influence of drugs, he will then proceed to searching your vehicle. If he will find some type of illegal substances inside, you will also be charged with possession and maybe even distribution, depending on the circumstances of your case.

The DUI penalties are already harsh enough and you do not need to aggravate them with any additional charges. First of all, there is always a risk of losing your driver’s license. The arresting officer is going to take it away from you. To be fair, you will get a temporary permit that will allow you to drive your vehicle for 30 more days, but you will need to file an official request with the DMV within 10 days after the accident in order to take your chance and try to keep the license. Still, loss of your license may not be as serious as you think in comparison to some other penalties.

First of all, you will be obliged to pay expensive fines, court fees and restitution for any kind of damage you may have caused. Furthermore, you may be sentenced to perform community service, which means hundreds of hours of unpaid labor. In addition, you will be obliged to attend alcohol or drug awareness classes and you will pay for those from your pocket too. You will need to get a new type of insurance, even if you are going to manage to keep your license. The SR22 insurance is specifically designed for high risk drivers, who are more likely to get into accidents. However, if you were driving under the influence of illegal substances and the police also found drugs in your vehicle, you will be facing additional charges that will have an even more detrimental impact on your life.

This is why it is so important to get in touch with a qualified Sacramento DUI lawyer who knows DUI laws in the State of California. He will question if the law enforcement officers had reasons to pull you over in the first place. If there was no probable cause, the case will be dismissed. Furthermore, he will question all the field sobriety tests and their results, so there is always a chance that you will avoid the maximum penalties and will deal with this situation with minimal legal damages. Of course, it will only be possible if your Sacramento DUI lawyer will be capable of handling such a difficult case.