Arrest Results from DUI with Drugs (CA Vehicle Code §23152(a))

Rabin Nabizadeh
April 1, 2013

Haamid Zaid, 33, of Seaside drove his Oldsmobile Cutlass into a Budweiser display at the east San Jose Walmart on Story Road this past Sunday. Then, after exiting the vehicle, for some reason Zaid decided to pick up a blunt object and begin attacking customers, one of whom was seriously injured.  After resisting arrest briefly, Zaid was finally taken to a hospital, after which he was released into police custody.  Local law enforcement officials have charged him with a hit-and-run, resisting arrest, 4 counts of assault with a deadly weapon – all crimes that he committed, prosecutors say, while he was under the influence of drugs.

Most Californians are familiar with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), but what you may not know is that when you drive under the influence of any drugs at all, even if your doctor has prescribed them. Some of these prescription drugs include vicodin or even over-the-counter drugs such as the main ingredient in Tylenol PM.  According to CA Vehicle Code  §23152(a), a “drug” is defined as any substance that may affect your muscles, brain, or nervous system.  If you drive “under the influence” of these drugs, it means that you are no longer able to drive as a normal person would.  A DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs) is treated differently than a normal DUI in the state of California.

When, for example, you are pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol, police can administer a BAC, or blood alcohol concentration test to you in the form of a breathalyzer to determine whether you are over the legal .08% legal limit.  There is no such “magic number” when it comes to a DUID that will alert law enforcement agents to your actual blood toxicity levels.  Due to this fact, DUIDs are much more difficult to prosecute than simple DUIs because they are so much more difficult to prove.  A DUID is often a misdemeanor, but it can also be a felony charge.  And, while the penalties are the same for a DUI or a DUID, there are typically additional requirements, like 3-5 year DUI probation, suspension of your driver’s license, a $1,800 fine and the completion of a California certified DUI school, for a DUID.

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