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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 26 years in practice, 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!
  • 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.
  • 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 Custody Client swerved and hit a parked car. Her blood alcohol content was a.30, over 3 times the legal limit.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Reduced to Misdemeanor DUI Client fell asleep at the wheel, swerved off the highway and hit the vehicle of a woman and she was hurt very badly. Lots of negotiations with the Deputy District Attorney and got this case reduced to a misdemeanor. Client did not do custody. He had a lot of restitution to pay back to cover the young woman’s medical expenses.
  • 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.
  • Drug Court Instead of Prison Represented a client with multiple DUIs. Once he overcame his alcohol addiction he became addicted to pain medication and muscle relaxants. Her was later arrested for a DUI after he hit a parked vehicle. While the District Attorney's Office was testing his blood for drugs, he got in 2 more accidents while driving. I was able to get him Drug Court. Where is a closely supervised 18 month program that will help him achieve sobriety and a lawful lifestyle.

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

  • You did a fantastic job!

    “I feel like you did a fantastic job!! You were always polite, had a game plan and achieved a favorable outcome. If you're concerned about my expectations, don't be. I am happy with all your work. I know nothing in this system of things called a world comes easy. Mucho Gracias to you and Anastasia!! Don't forget, I have your card and know where to find you! Amen.”


  • She never gave up defending me.

    “She has a vast knowledge of the court system and the law. She has worked with me diligently since January, and it is now November, to keep me out of prison due to multiple DUI’s. I would highly recommend Andrea for any legal matters.”


  • 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.”


  • The court sided in my favor and I owe this to Andrea.

    “I needed to meet with her and she saw me within a day of calling her. She actually answered the phone and some of my questions while at Disneyland with her kids. She also prepared me for the mediation.”


  • 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