DUI Law – California Vehicle Code: VC 23152 Alcohol and/or Drugs

Under California DUI laws, the Vehicle Code Book codified in 1935 states the following under its Drinking and Alcohol section. This section (23152) is the misdemeanor violation.

The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is: misdemeanor
driving under the influence charges means that the charge involved no
injury or property damage and the penalty is up to 6 months in jail
whereas a felony has injury and the penalty could be as much as up to one year in a state prison.

VC 23152: Alcohol and or Drugs: (a). It is unlawful
for any person who is under the influence of an intoxicating
beverage,or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage or
drug to drive a vehicle.


The problem immediately is what does "under the
" mean?

The most common understanding of the term is when the
person starts to stumble and fall, lose coordination, have slower
reaction times, lose the ability to process information, experience
visual impairments or go through personality changes.

Standard Dictionary Definition

Webster defines intoxicated as being ‘elated’, hardly a legal

A legal definition, from 1970 states under the influence as:

person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor when
as a result of drinking such liquor his physical and mental abilities are impaired so that he no longer has the ability to drive a vehicle with the caution characteristic of a sober person of ordinary prudence under the same or similar circumstances.

The second part of the vehicle code DUI law continues to state in
addition to the above "under the influence" paragraph, a driver is also under the influence when:

Paragraph (b) of VC23152 states:

VC 23152: Alcohol and or Drugs: (b) It is unlawful for any person who has a .08 percent or more by weight to drive a vehicle.

This more exacting definition of what under the influence is was put in the vehicle code in 1982 and is considered "per se". Under the CA DUI laws, when you are arrested for DUI in California and you must submit to a chemical test, the results of that test can be used as evidence in court. This is called presumptive or prima facie evidence. Technically, prima facie means "at first view." Legally, it means "adequate to establish the fact unless refuted" (proved wrong).

Illegal "per se" law means that no evidence other than the results of a properly obtained chemical test is required to convict the defendant. In other words, if you’re chemical test results are a .08 (and all else was legal i.e. stop, arrests etc.) you are considered under the influence according to the California DUI laws.

Legal presumptions about levels of alcohol in the blood are stated in
presumptions about under the influence are stated in another law VC

Are you in need of California DUI Lawyers?

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, you will need to find California DUI Lawyers.

DUI Attorneys

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  1. I am looking for the laws and or any rules about prescription drugs, such as vicodin and drugs like this. Tank you very much.