Will I Risk Being Charged with Driving While Addicted to Drugs If I Enter a Rehab Program?

Posted by Neil Shouse | May 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

You may have heard that driving while addicted to drugs is a form of DUI in California. This is correct: Vehicle Code 23152(c) VC, a subsection of California's DUI law, criminalizes addicted driving.

VC 23152(c) driving while addicted is a completely separate crime from Vehicle Code 23152(e) driving while under the influence of drugs. You can be guilty of the former even if you never drive while actually under the influence of a drug.

If you are suffering from drug addiction, you may be considering entering a drug treatment program. One potential problem is that doing so is more or less an admission that you are addicted. Does this mean that you can be arrested at any time for driving your car?

Fortunately, the answer is no. California's driving while addicted to a drug law specifically clarifies that it does not apply to people enrolled in approved drug treatment programs. So you can drive freely while enrolled in such a program without worrying about getting a DUI (as long as you do not actually drive under the influence).

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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