Could You be Charged with a DWC? One Man in California Might Be

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Colorado Defense Attorney can help if you’re stopped for consuming too much Caffeine

Caffeine is considered a drug, but a legal one. One man in California is facing an unheard of DUI-type charge that made headlines this past month. After he had cut off a police officer who worked for the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the California man was arrested for a DUI. However, the breathalyzer results showed that he did not have any alcohol in his system. After police analyzed a blood sample, they found that there was no drugs or alcohol in his system; instead, it was caffeine.

The driver was initially arrested back in August, 2015; however, charges were only filed in June, 2016, according to Fox News. The district attorney in charge of the case insists that the charges are not because of the caffeinated driving, but the defendant’s attorney states that there was no evidence of drugs or alcohol in his system.

Drugged Driving and Caffeine?

Most people balk at the idea that they might be arrested for driving while under the influence of caffeine, but this case proves that it is possible.

Caffeine, after all, is considered a powerful stimulant and, when taken in high doses, it could be dangerous. A person, however, must consume high levels of coffee or caffeinated beverages for it to affect driving. Individuals’ ability to metabolize plays a critical role, too. Some do not have the same tolerance for caffeine, so a small amount could force them to drive dangerously.

The DUI laws in California are much different than in Colorado, but it is important to understand how a charge like this could occur, and assess if something similar may happen in Colorado. Colorado does have strict laws against driving under the influence of any substance that impairs driving ability. A person taking a medication that causes drowsiness, for example, could be charged with a DWAI, even if that drug is legal and sold over-the-counter (like coffee and caffeinated beverages).

A person does not need to be over the legal limit to exhibit impaired driving. A blood test result is not a complete defense to a DUI. If a prosecutor can prove that the defendant was impaired while driving due to the influence of caffeine, he or she technically could be convicted of a DUI.

The case in California highlights flaws in the legal system. More importantly, it underlines the necessity for competent counsel. If a defendant does not hire an attorney with experience in these types of cases, he or she could face harsh penalties and extensive jail time – even for consuming caffeine and operating a vehicle.

The case of the man in California is scheduled for trial, but the verdict may determine if other aggressive or erratic drivers on the road could be charged with consuming caffeine and driving in the future. This decision could spill over into other states with strict laws, including Colorado.

Arrested for Driving Under the Influence? Contact an Attorney

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of a substance, contact Christian A. Schwaner, P.C. today. As a former prosecutor, he understands the law and knows what tactics prosecutors use to win their cases. Schedule a consultation now by calling 719-577-9700 or requesting more information online.

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