Inland Empire Criminal Defense

Request a Free Consult

Please provide as much detail as possible, case number, court date, etc.

VC 23152(g) Driving Under the Influence of a Combination of Alcohol and Drugs Laws in California

Legal Definition: “(g) It is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle.”

To sustain a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs under VC 23152(g), the prosecution must establish the following elements:

  • Operation of a Motor Vehicle;
    Operation while under the influence
  • Operation under the influence of both alcohol and drugs.

Please note that these requirements signify the experience, expertise, and authority necessary to ensure a trusted legal process.

What does this mean?

A person is considered to be under the influence when the ingestion of a drug results in a significant impairment of their mental or physical abilities, rendering them incapable of operating a vehicle with the same level of caution as a sober individual in similar circumstances. A drug, defined as any substance or combination of substances, excluding alcohol, has the potential to negatively affect the nervous system, brain, or muscles to an extent that significantly impairs a person’s ability to drive as a reasonably cautious individual would under similar circumstances, while in full possession of their faculties and exercising reasonable care.

It is crucial to note that the specific drug need not be proscribed to the individual in question; what matters is whether it impairs their ability to operate a vehicle during the act of driving. The notion of impairment holds paramount importance. For instance, someone taking headache medication for a common headache would not be deemed under the influence, despite the medication being classified as a “drug”. If the drug does not cause impairment, it does not warrant a Drug DUI offense.

Distinct from a DUI offense outlined in VC 23152(b), there is no “per se” limit with regards to the quantity of drugs present in an individual’s system to establish impairment. Put simply, there is no specific threshold or legally proscribed amount of drugs, be it prescribed medications or substances like cocaine or marijuana, that must be present in an individual’s system to conclusively prove impairment—although ongoing research aims to define such limits.

Conversely, this charge does not impose a “per se” limit for alcohol either. As long as alcohol is detected in conjunction with a drug, and if an officer determines impairment, an individual can face charges under this section. Consider a scenario in which an individual consumes sleeping pills and has a glass of wine. Even if each substance, in isolation, may not lead to being under the influence, the combined effect resulting in the inability to safely operate a vehicle can lead to arrest and charges under this section.

Similar to cases of drunk driving, the focus here remains on impairment rather than solely ingesting substances, whether legal or illicit, and consuming alcohol. If an individual smokes marijuana and has a beer but their driving is unaffected, they would not be guilty of a Combination DUI. Another notable distinction is that, when an individual’s impairment is suspected to be due to drug use, a blood test is required as a breath test cannot determine the presence of drugs in the system. However, a breath test is effective in measuring alcohol levels.

Please note that while this information is provided with expertise and authority, it should not be considered legal advice. Consulting a legal professional is recommended for specific cases or concerns.


A conviction under VC 23152(g) is the same as a misdemeanor DUI. The maximum exposure can be up to 6 months in a County Jail. You must serve at least 50% of that time in custody. If this is not your first DUI offense, the penalties go up, those can be found here. Finally, if you have sufficient prior DUIs or a prior felony DUI, you can be charged under this section as a felony as well, which can be found here.

This is not a strike offense under the California Three Strikes law, and it is not a Sex Offense under PC 290. You could also face a loss of your Professional License if convicted, and if you are not a legal resident, you would face Deportation in Immigration Court since DUIs are generally held to be very serious crimes in immigration and licensing cases.

Common Defenses

  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Violation of Rights
  3. Insufficient Evidence

As knowledgeable legal professionals, we provide expert advice when it comes to defense strategies for Combination Drug/DUI cases. One commonly employed defense involves asserting your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, as there is no specific “per se” limit for the combination of drug and alcohol use while driving. Various factors, such as fatigue, stress, or even nervousness around law enforcement, can create the appearance of impairment. Demonstrating that you are not unduly influenced by the combination is crucial in proving your innocence. By presenting a compelling defense centered around the lack of impairment, we can challenge the notion of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Another effective defense strategy focuses on potential violations of your rights under the Fourth Amendment by the officer who conducted the traffic stop. In California, if an unlawful or illegal stop occurred, you have the right, under PC 1538.5, to seek the suppression of any evidence obtained after the improper stop. This means that any admissions you made regarding drug consumption or any blood test results can be rendered inadmissible, ultimately leading to a favorable outcome for your case. Given the prevalence of unlawful stops in DUI Law, it is imperative to have an experienced attorney thoroughly review your case to ensure the protection of your rights and secure a solid defense. Trust our firm’s expertise and proven track record to safeguard your interests and guide you through this challenging legal process.

Call Today

A DUI conviction in California can cast long shadows over your future, profoundly affecting various facets of your life. Notably, the state’s DUI penalties are among the most stringent, often dwarfing the sanctions for other criminal offenses. With the stakes this high, it’s vital to rally behind an attorney with specialized expertise in DUI defenses, capable of both challenging the charges head-on or orchestrating a beneficial plea deal.

Our Ontario VC 23152(g) Driving Under the Influence of a Combination of Alcohol and Drugs attorney carries a wealth of experience, having valiantly defended a plethora of DUI cases spanning the breadth of the Inland Empire region. For legal representation that champions your cause with tenacity, turn to Inland Empire Defense. Reach our dedicated Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney at 909-939-7126. With our strategic location in Ontario, we stand ready to commit our expertise to your defense.

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, Inland Empire Criminal Defense prioritizes your privacy and confidentiality. Every consultation with our attorney is conducted with the utmost discretion, ensuring your information remains secure and private.

Yes, understanding the financial pressures that can come with legal representation, our attorney offers flexible payment plans. This approach ensures that quality legal defense is accessible for all our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Yes, Inland Empire Criminal Defense offers free consultations. This is part of our commitment to providing accessible and transparent legal services to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

We offer both in-person and over-the-phone consultations to accommodate your preferences and needs. Whether you’re in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County, we ensure that you can access our legal services in the way that suits you best.

Our office is typically closed on weekends. However, we do make exceptions for meetings by special arrangement. Our commitment is to be as accommodating as possible to meet the unique needs of our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

Content is protected. Right-click function is disabled.