Los Angeles DUI and Xanax

Los Angeles DUI Attorney

Men taking pillsA person can be charged with a driving under the influence if he or she is driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. Many people believe that driving under the influence of drugs only involves illicit street drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy or PCP. However, a person can be charged with a DUI drug offense under California Vehicle Code Section 23152(f) VC if he or she is under the influence of a drug that is lawfully prescribed. One of the most common medications that trigger DUI drug prosecutions is Xanax, known generically as alprazolam, which is a widely-prescribed anti-anxiety medication that is also a powerful benzodiazepine.

Xanax and other benzodiazepines such as Valium and Klonopin are used to treat conditions such as anxiety. Similar to alcohol, Xanax can lead to sleepiness, lightheadedness and lack of coordination. In a controlled test, drivers who take one milligram of alprazolam experience increased weaving. In fact the test had to be stopped because some test subjects became too tired to continue.

During a traffic stop, if an officer believes that the driver is under the influence of Xanax or another drug the officer may ask the driver about any medications that he or she has ingested. Additionally, the officer may request that a Drug Recognition Expert (“DRE”) officer be called to the scene to perform an evaluation of the driver. DRE officers receive special training on recognizing drivers who are under the influence drugs, including Xanax and other benzodiazepines.

If the officer has sufficient probable cause to believe that the driver is under the influence of Xanax or another drug, the driver will be arrested and taken in for chemical testing. Because there is no breath test that can measure whether or not a driver is under the influence of Xanax, he or she would have to supply a blood sample. Usually the driver is taken to a hospital where a blood draw is completed. The blood sample is then stored and transported to the crime laboratory for toxicology testing. The results of the blood test are not known immediately and usually this information will be released at the defendant’s arraignment hearing which may occur weeks or months after an incident occurs.

The defense may obtain a blood split order to get the original blood sample retested at an independent laboratory. In some cases, the retest may show that the levels of benzodiazepine in the defendant’s blood are below the amount that would cause impairment. It may be necessary to use an expert witness toxicologist to show that based on the low levels of benzodiazepine in the defendant’s blood, he or she was not under the influence of a drug at the time of driving.

Defendants who only have Xanax in their system would not face an administrative DMV driver’s license suspension as a result of the arrest as would a person whose BAC was 0.08 percent or higher. However, if the defendant is ultimately convicted of driving under the influence of drugs in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152(f) VC, the DMV will suspend his or her driver’s license at that point based on the DUI conviction.

If you have been arrested or charged with a DUI offense involving Xanax or another prescription drug, it is imperative that you discuss your case with a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer as soon as possible. Los Angeles DUI Attorney Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who understands how to effectively defend clients charged with DUI drug offenses.

For more information about Los Angeles DUI and Xanax, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Michael Kraut at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs! Shaquan
I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
Michael Kraut is an outstanding attorney. He was extremely professional, and straightforward, yet sensitive with my case. I am confident I made the right choice by hiring Michael. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a truly experienced lawyer. Daniel
Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us. A.N.