What drugs are considered “DUI” in California?

(STL.News) In California, driving under the influence of alcohol is considered dangerous.  Drunk driving is like taking drugs.  Penalties for drugs and alcohol are the same but vary depending on the substance used.  Many people think street drugs are the only drugs eligible for driving restrictions, including controlled drugs, legal prescription drugs, and over-the-counter drugs.  A drug is considered a drug in California if it causes an abnormal mental or physical state that affects a person’s nervous system, brain, or muscles.  As noted above, the penalties for drunk driving depend on the substance used.  Continue reading this page to learn more about the different drugs considered for DUI.  Contact a DUI criminal defense lawyer if you have any legal questions.


Marijuana is the most abused drug in California, the most commonly used drug.  The situation is complicated now that many have prescriptions for legal purchases.  You can even be arrested for using marijuana for legitimate medical reasons.  Although marijuana is legal in some states, driving under the influence of marijuana is considered illegal because it causes clear signs that a person’s mental state is impaired, just like when drinking alcohol.  Unlike alcohol, there are no legal restrictions on marijuana, but using marijuana changes your psychological state.  A unique chemical test is performed to get accurate results about the amount of marijuana in your body.  Once you receive your chemical test results, you can disprove the claim that marijuana use did not affect your driving ability.  Regardless of how much marijuana is in a urine sample, it is enough to get you convicted, so the services of a California drug DUI lawyer, in this case, are never appropriate.  A qualified lawyer will help you understand the situation from the legal side and will give the most precise, comprehensive advice.

Other prohibited drugs

Other drugs that are considered to cause intoxication include cocaine, methamphetamine, crack, ecstasy, and many other drugs.  Chemical tests performed, such as blood or urine, will be given to the individual, and after the results are obtained, any amount will be used against them.  Drug addiction is treated the same way, but different types of drugs affect people differently.  People who use cocaine have significantly different effects than people who use ecstasy.  Knowing the side effects of each drug and understanding how they affect a person can be helpful in advocacy.

Legal drugs

Prescription and over-the-counter medications can also be considered addictive.  Unlike illicit drugs, not all drugs are considered illegal.  Medicines that can make people addicted and are considered narcotics include:

  • Medication for the treatment of anxiety states;
  • Cough medicine;
  • Muscle relaxants;
  • Painkillers;
  • Sleep medications.

If the test results show that prescription drugs were used, you may be charged with driving under the influence.  We recommend you consult with an attorney to quickly find legal protection against drug addiction.  Qualified attorneys strive to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your case.  The charges for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs are the same, but the penalties can be higher if drugs are involved.  Punishment can be severe.  If a hard drug is listed under California Health and Safety Law 11550, you will be charged with illegal drug use and DUI charges.  You may also face criminal charges if you are under the influence of drugs.  If methamphetamine, cocaine, or other illicit drugs are found during your arrest, you will be charged.  What are the most common types of drug crimes?  Penalties for breaking the law vary depending on the situation and the type of drugs a person is dealing with.

Six most common types of fines for drugs

Marijuana storage.  The most common drug charge is possession of marijuana, which is considered a misdemeanor up to a certain amount (the amount varies by state).  Marijuana possession has been gradually decriminalized in some states. As a result, penalties are usually just fines, even in states that haven’t yet decriminalized them.  However, it remains the most common drug-related crime and can often have serious side effects.  Another widespread drug abuse charge is possession of drug paraphernalia, which is often considered a misdemeanor.  Drug paraphernalia is any item used to manufacture, conceal, or consume a drug.  These are usually disposable tongs, spoons, whistles, wrapping paper, lighters, needles, syringes, clear plastic bags, scales, razors, bottles, and flasks.
In some cases, possession of drug paraphernalia may be a criminal offense.  Laws vary by state, but in most cases, possessing narcotics, especially methamphetamine, is a felony.  This includes acetone (a nail polish remover and thinner), anhydrous ammonia (commonly found in fertilizers), ephedrine and pseudoephedrine (commonly found in cold remedies), as well as lithium, sodium hydroxide (commonly known as lye), unblocking agents, such as phosphorus (found in matches and torches), toluene (a common source is brake fluid), coffee filters, rubber tubing, and plastic bottles.

Presence of controlled substances

The most common serious drug offense is possession of a controlled substance.  For the state to prosecute a person for possessing a controlled substance, the person must have the sense; the meaning must be on the federal list of controlled substances, and the person must know of its existence and nature of origin.  Ownership of a substance can be actual or constructive.  Physical possession is defined as having a controlled substance in a person’s possession (for example, in a pocket or hand) or in an easily accessible and convenient place (for example, in the glove compartment or interior of a car when the person is driving.  Presumptive possession occurs when the controlled substance is under personal supervision or control, such as in a person’s room.  An example of such residence is when law enforcement finds a controlled substance in a person’s room, but the person is not there.  Another typical example is when law enforcement finds a controlled substance in a purse or a person’s backpack when the owner is absent.

Possession for delivery and distribution of controlled substances

Possession of controlled substances with the intent to supply and distribute is essentially the same crime.  From another point of view, possession with intent to distribute is an attempt to distribute a controlled substance.  There is no minimum drug weight requirement for this crime, so any amount will suffice if the other elements of the crime can be proven.  As a result, small-scale drug dealers (who usually do not always transport large quantities of drugs) are often prosecuted for this crime.  To be convicted of this crime, the government must establish that the person knowingly distributed (or possessed with intent to distribute) a controlled substance.  Again, a controlled substance is a substance that is on the federal list of controlled substances.  Such cases may involve managed procurement and vulnerable whistleblowers, which can be dangerous and controversial.  It is surprising to many that a seemingly innocuous act can lead to this crime.  For example, if a person shares a prescription drug (even a pill) with another person, it can be a crime.  Similarly, walking around the premises or sharing a pot cake at a party is controlled substance distribution.

Illegal production of controlled substances

Criminal liability is present for each dose of a controlled substance purchased, possessed, or used illegally.  As with painkillers and other prescription drugs, their production may be legal even if their distribution and consumption are illegal.  Similarly, marijuana can be grown legally in some states even though it is illegally transported and sold in other states.  But in many cases, the production methods are also illegal.  Typical topics of illegal controlled production of this substance include home cultivation and illicit cannabis farms.  Phencyclidine, also known as PCP, is widely grown in the United States.

Similarly, the production of methamphetamine is common in the United States, as materials and equipment can be obtained from pharmacies and various stores.  However, heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine require more accessible ingredients to grow outside the United States.  As a result, these drugs are often manufactured in other countries and imported illegally.  For example, heroin is made from the opium poppy, which can be grown in the United States, but is nearly impossible to grow undetected.  For this reason, opium poppies are often grown in remote regions, such as Afghanistan.  Similarly, cocaine is made from the South American coca plant leaves.  Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid commonly imported from China and Mexico.

Illegal drug trafficking

Drug trafficking is the most serious drug crime.  This is the minimum weight required for the drug in addition to dispensing (or deliberate possession).  Some states divide drug trafficking into different levels depending on the severity of the drug, for example, Class I drug trafficking and Class II drug trafficking.  The required weight depends on the drug.  For example, drug trafficking usually requires vast quantities of marijuana.  But heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and LSD can be less than 100 grams in some states.  Drug-trafficking crimes are often referred to U.S. attorneys for prosecution in federal courts, which are usually stricter than state courts.  Under federal law, possession of a certain amount of a controlled substance is sufficient to constitute a drug-trafficking offense.  Therefore, any mixture or substance that meets the weight requirements and contains a specified amount of controlled substances will suffice.  To protect your freedom as quickly and effectively as possible, seek the help of qualified lawyers.  Whether it’s your first offense or you’ve been convicted before, they can help you get the best possible outcome in your drug case.