Proposition 36 (“Prop. 36”) is a California drug diversion program. It allows nonviolent drug offenders the opportunity to participate in drug rehabilitation instead of being incarcerated. The biggest benefit of Prop. 36 is that once you have successfully completed the program, your drug charges are dismissed. The goal of Prop. 36 is to help drug addicts recover from their addiction.
So it would therefore seem logical that driving under the influence of drugs…a nonviolent drug offense…would allow a defendant to participate in this program. However, that isn't the case. California courts have held that driving under the influence of drugs is an offense that necessarily puts others at risk and is therefore more like a drug “sales” offense which goes beyond simply being under the influence of drugs.
If you are convicted of driving under the influence of drugs, you may want to see if your California DUI defense attorney can negotiate a plea for being under the influence of drugs rather than driving under the influence of drugs so that Proposition 36 becomes an option.