VC 23152 does not distinguish between drugs or alcohol when it comes to whether a person is impaired. However, there are distinctions when it comes to the quantum of evidence required to prove that impairment. For example, when dealing with a DUI for drugs, the law requires that the drug impair the individual to an “appreciable degree”, which is markedly different from that for proving alcohol impairment. Also, the law requires that the prosecution prove actual impairment if the charge is DUID rather that DWI for alcohol which gives the district attorney the benefit of a presumption of impairment if the person’s blood alcohol level is proven to be above a .08 percent. No such legal presumption exists if the theory is that the driver was under the influence of drugs. Clearly, this area of the law is beyond the scope of most laymen, seek the guidance of a Kern County DUI Lawyer if you or someone very close to you is facing a drunk driving charge in the area.
In some jurisdictions, such as orange county, a defendant in a drunk driving case with priors can ask to be sentenced to the DUI Court, this court is a special setting where a person who ordinarily is facing jail time can participate in a program of counseling, court meetings and community service in order to avoid the typical amount of incarceration. Unfortunately, Kern County does not offer this program at this time.
In California if you are charged with a second offense DUI or more than jail time becomes more likely. But what about jail alternatives such as electronic monitoring and house arrest? In Kern County if you are ordered to a sentence of jail you can apply for house arrest. the program is administered through the probation department and application should be made prior to sentencing. the home jail sentence would require a working phone line and a residence within the county. For those that live outside Kern County there are private electronic monitoring companies that can be utilized. The Judge must order the alternative in lieu of jail, or at the very least, not mention on the record that it is not an option. For multiple offense DUI cases, these types of incarceration free programs are extremely attractive, but expensive. The cost for house jail through the county is less than the private companies, which can often run close to a thousand dollars a month.