“If there is one characteristic that defines me, it is my belief in human dignity, my belief that my client's life is just as important now as it was on the day they were born.” - Michael Guisti

Tap to Call (888) 478-8999
Our Legal Team Is Standing By
Home DUI Drugged Driving

Orange County Drugged Driving Defense Attorney

What is a DUI Drug (DUID) Charge?

Unlike an alcohol DUI charge that relies on a BAC test, a DUID charge relies on the personal observation of an officer, as well as a blood and urine sample to determine if you "failed" the drug test. If you allegedly failed the test you are charged under California Vehicle Code 23152(a) for driving under the influence of drugs. For Orange County police, it is beside the point whether the drugs were legal prescriptions or illegal. The only issue that the courts care about is whether DUID affected your ability to safely drive your car.

According to Vehicle Code 23152(a) "drugs" means,

"Your physical or mental abilities are impaired to such a degree that you no longer have the ability to drive with the caution characteristic of a sober person of ordinary prudence under the same or similar circumstances"

To determine if you were DUID, a Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) from an Orange County law enforcement agency with special drug training is usually brought to in to assess a DUID suspect. Unlike a DUI test, a DUID test usually takes place in a police station. The DRE is supposed to determine that your impairment wasn't consistent with your BAC, that you were DUID and not suffering from any sort of medical condition, and determined that you were under the influence of drugs.

Back to Top

Defending a DUID Charge in Orange County Courts

Simply having tested positive for drugs in your system does not mean that you are guilty. After all, blood and urine tests are not always accurate. There are common mistakes made by police that result in:

  • Contaminated medical equipment
  • Incorrect blood draws
  • Improper storage of the samples
  • Improper handling of your drug test

Such mistakes could invalidate your test results and possibly lead to your case being dismissed. Similarly, while a toxicology screen typically reveals a drug's presence, it does not reveal its quantity; many prosecution drug experts won't even bother testifying against you because there is no scientific correlation between drug amount and impairment. As well, it is altogether possible that fatigue, allergies, illness, and/or nerves could make you "look" like you're DUID to the arresting officer, but of course many people suffer from such issues.

Back to Top

OC Drugged Driving Defense Lawyers Protecting Your Rights

At Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, our OC drugged driving defense lawyers can challenge the "probable cause" that the police used to initiate your traffic stop that led to your DUID arrest. Police cannot pull you over simply because they have a "gut feeling." Police must have a concrete, valid reason for initially pulling you over. We can also find out if you were properly advised of your "right to remain silent."

Back to Top

Punishment for DUID in Orange County

If convicted of DUID, the judge considers factors such as whether you have prior DUIs, the circumstances of your case, and your criminal history. Most first time DUID offenders are sentenced to:

  • 3 to 5 years of informal probation
  • Minimum $390 fine (which, after penalties and assessments exceeds $1,000)
  • Maximum of 1 year in Orange County jail
  • Court-imposed driver's license suspension for at least 6 months
  • Minimum 3 month drug education class

Also, if you refused to submit to a blood or urine test, the prosecutor may charge you with "refusing" to submit to a chemical test that adds a mandatory county jail sentence of at least 48 hours. Furthermore, if you are DUID of a specific drug that is prohibited under California Health and Safety Code 11550, you may additionally be charged with that offense as well. If charged, this requires a mandatory 90-day minimum jail sentence. However, unlike DUID, this charge allows a first-time offender to participate in a drug diversion program under California Penal Code 1000 in lieu of that jail sentence.

Back to Top

Don't Try to Face Your DUID Charge Alone

As you've read, DUID cases, including those involving charges of driving under the influence of marijuana, are highly complex. You need an experienced an OC DUI attorney who understands the complexities of the law. Rest assured that Law Office of Michael L. Guisti can handle your case in the best possible way to reduce your charges and even attempt to dismiss your case. Contact us at (714) 530-9690 now!

Back to Top

Additional Information

Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.

(714) 530-9690

Payment options available:

Payment options available:

Client Reviews

“It was strongly recommended that I call federal defense attorney Michael L. Guisti. He had several investigators look at records and such, and my federal case was dismissed. Michael Guisti does what few attorneys can do, beat the federal government, and that is why if you’re in trouble with the government you need to call Michael Guisti right away!”

- G.O. on


“I had everything to lose, my future, my education. Basically I did something that got me a misdemeanor, and the judge wanted to give a guilty plea. But Michael Guisti would not back down. Instead he fought for me, and now my record is clean.”

- Client on


“Back in 2003 I was facing attempted murder. My family hired Michael Guisti to represent me. He is a very good attorney. He always answered my calls, addressed my questions and concerns, and kept me updated about my case. Thank you Michael Guisti for winning my case. I highly recommend anyone facing a criminal charge to see Michael Guisti.”

- J.D. on


Case Results

sex crimes

Case Dropped

Young man charged and arrested for sexual battery.


Case Dropped

Man charged with assault with a deadly weapon for hitting someone in the face with a heavy metal dust pan.

drug crimes

Served Less Than 30 Days in Jail

Young man charged with selling 1000 tabs of ecstasy to undercover officer.

Attempted Murder

Reduced to Assault With Deadly Weapon

Young man knocks the eye out his victim with a metal pipe. Charged with attempted murder and aggravated mayhem. Both cases carried life sentences.

Assault & Battery

Serves 80 Days on Work Furlough

Woman arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon using scissors on a co-worker.

Vehicular Assault

Serves 80 Days on Work Furlough

Man charged with three felony counts of vehicular assault with a deadly weapon.


Read Our Important Announcement About COVID-19

Dear valued clients, due to the COVID-19 virus and out of respect for the community, our office is offering our services remotely via phone and video. Please call or email us through our web contact form and we would be happy to discuss your case. Watch Michael L. Guisti's COVID-19 Public Service Announcement.

Schedule My Consultation

OC Drugged Driving Defense Lawyer Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved. Law Office of Michael L. Guisti. Serving clients in: Central Justice Center, Harbor Justice Center - Newport Beach Facility, North Justice Center, & West Justice Center in Orange County.

Website Design, SEO and Legal Internet Marketing by: SLS Consulting | Scholarship