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Drug Related DUIs

Drug-Related DUI Attorney in La Mesa

How Do Drugged Driving Charges Differ from Alcohol DUI Offenses?

While driving under the influence, or DUI, includes both alcohol and drug-impaired driving offenses, there are a few differences in how the two situations are prosecuted. In California, drug-related DUIs are often informally referred to as “drugged driving” and include any instance in which an individual drives a motor vehicle while impaired by any substance, legal or illegal. A common misconception is that drugged driving only refers to illicit substances, but this is not the case. You can be charged with drug-related DUI if a prescription or over-the-counter medication impairs your ability to drive.

Some of the key differences between alcohol-related DUIs and drug-related DUIs include:

  • Drug-related DUIs cannot be measured on blood alcohol content (BAC)
  • In drugged driving cases, drivers are given a blood or urine test, rather than a breath test
  • Most drug-related DUI cases in California require observation by a Drug Recognition Expert
  • In drugged driving cases, the driver’s license is not automatically suspended (with exceptions)

Additionally, there is no official set limit at which an individual can be charged with drug-related DUI. Because of these differences, the defense for drug-related DUI is also slightly different. As an experienced drug-related DUI attorney in La Mesa, I have years of experience handling these types of complex cases. I understand how frightening it can be to face drugged driving charges, which is why I take the time to help you understand the process as I skillfully navigate the legal system on your behalf.

To discuss your drug-related DUI case, reach out to my office at (619) 304-8499 for a free phone consultation. I’m happy to answer your questions and address your concerns.

Types of Drugs that Can Lead to DUI Convictions

As mentioned above, even over-the-counter or legally prescribed drugs can lead to a DUI conviction if the drug impairs your ability to drive. Marijuana, which was recently legalized in the state of California, can still impair driving ability and remains one of the most common substances that leads to drug-related DUI arrests.

Other types of drugs that can lead to drugged driving charges and convictions include:

  • Cold and flu medicine
  • Sleeping medications
  • Cough syrup
  • Prescription medications
  • Marijuana (whether legal or illegal)
  • Controlled substances, such as cocaine, opiates, or methamphetamine
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Certain anxiety medications

This list is certainly not exhaustive. If you were arrested for drug-related DUI for any of the above or another substance, it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. In many cases, it is more difficult for the prosecution to prove that a drug impaired your driving ability. However, this does not mean that you are more likely to avoid a conviction. As your La Mesa DUI lawyer, I am committed to protecting your rights and building a strong DUI defense on your behalf. With more than 27 years as a licensed attorney, I understand how to defend against drugged driving charges and help you avoid the life-altering consequences of a conviction.

Contact my office online or by phone at (619) 304-8499 today to learn more about how I can help you with your case.

Case Results

Take a look at my victories!
  • No Custody Client swerved and hit a parked car. Her blood alcohol content was a.30, over 3 times the legal limit.
  • Custody Granted My client has lived out of state for many years and the father was not allowing her to see her 2 children. After much negotiation we reached a very favorable written agreement an hour before our court hearing, and the Judge made it an order. Mom will now have her kids at her home for 4 weeks in the summer, every other holiday and get to talk with them privately as much as they want to talk. She will get to spend Christmas with her children in her home for the first time in 10 years!
  • No Death Penalty Our client and a co-defendant were accused of murdering 2 elderly people by beating them to death with metal rods. We pled our client not guilty by reason of insanity. He had been in and out of mental hospitals from the time he was 15 years old. The co-defendant was sentenced to the death penalty but we were able to negotiate with the Deputy District Attorney during trial and our client received life without parole instead of the death penalty.
  • Charges Reduced Client was having an affair and got pregnant. In a heightened sense of distress, my client decided it would be best for her and her 4 year old daughter to pass. She gave her liquid drain cleaner thinking she would die peacefully. She was going to then kill herself. Instead, her daughter started choking and coughing. My client snapped out of her emotional state and called for help. My client faced many years in prison. We negotiated with the Deputy District Attorney and she received a few years in prison.
  • No Custody Client got arrested for the first DUI, we resolved it and shortly after he got a second DUI. Residential program instead of custody, and volunteer work instead of public work service.
  • Appeal Our client was sentenced to death for the brutal murder of a young mom and her 4 year old daughter. After reviewing thousands of pages from the trial, interviewing witnesses and family members, we found some issues that had not been previously litigated and were able to get these issues sent to State Court.
  • Dismissed Client was charged with a battery against her husband. He called the police after she threw something and it hit him during a late night argument. She was sentenced to 3 years of informal probation. After 18 months we petitioned the Court to have her probation terminated our request was granted, her probation was terminated early and her case was dismissed.
  • No Actual Custody It was about 4 p.m. and my client had a fight with his wife. He decided to drink 1/2 pint of Vodka and hit the car in front of him and got arrested. He had a .12 blood alcohol content. This arrest was 2 years after a previous DUI conviction. So, he was still on probation. He could have done 90 days to 1 year in custody on this new DUI because of his probation violation. However, he received no actual custody: 96 hours of jail satisfied by CPAC-house arrest, 1 day of Public Service instead of 5, Fines at $50 per month and a no ignition interlock device ordered.
  • No Charges Filed My client slapped her husband after he pushed her and was “handsy” with her. He called the police and she got arrested for battery. He made various statements that were inconsistent and therefore no charges were filed.
  • No Custody Officer smelled alcohol, said she had slurred speech, red eyes and other symptoms of being under the influence. She had a blood alcohol content of .11 and did not pass the Field Sobriety Tests given by the officer. She had a DUI with 2 DUI priors. Her result was no custody, credit for time served when arrested, no public service and instead did volunteer work, fines at $35 per month, no ignition interlock device ordered and a fine reduction of $575 by client agreeing to do a program.

Professional Help When You Need It Most

  • I treat my clients like family, not case numbers. My clients get the personal attention that their case deserves.
  • When you call my office, you get me! You will not be handed off. I live and breathe your case and I will be with you every step of the way.
  • As a mother of two, I understand it is important to do what's best for you and your family. You can trust, I will do just that for you.
  • I truly care about my clients and am here to help them with any legal matter they are facing.
  • I have your best interest at heart and in mind. I will patiently listen to what you want, need and value.
  • We will strategize and develop a game plan that will help you achieve your goals all while staying within your budget.

Hear From Others
I Have Helped

  • She patiently heard my questions and gave detailed answers.

    “I used Andrea’s services for a divorce case. She was very knowledgeable and helpful. She patiently heard my questions and gave detailed answers. She went above and beyond to help me prepare how to communicate with my spouse.”


  • Very helpful & very nice

    “The attorney was very helpful & very nice”


  • Andrea put my mind to rest.

    “When overwhelmed and worried about what my rights where Andrea put my mind to rest. She made me feel comfortable and advised me on what next steps I should take to make sure everyone is covered in this unfortunate situation. Thank you !”


  • She listened very well, patiently helped me understand my next steps, and provided me with good resources.

    “I consulted with Andrea on my difficult child custody case. She listened very well, patiently helped me understand my next steps, and provided me with good resources.”

    Brian Hansen

  • What a huge relief to know that Andrea had my back and would truly be MY champion.

    “She was very quick to respond to any of my questions and gave me just the right amount of support. She made me feel empowered during this divorce journey and helped me see that I could survive this ordeal with her by my side.”