California Legislature Considers “Sober Driving” Law

8.thumbnailCalifornia State Senator Lou Correa appears to view the low DUI thresholds for drivers as insufficient. Correa has introduced what many are calling a “sober driver” law where a citizen can be arrested for having any detectable level of drugs in their system, even if they are functionally sober. This includes cannabinoids which can stay in your system for weeks. The law seems to move beyond prosecuting people who are actually impaired in driving.

The bill is supported by the California Narcotic Officers Association and the California Police Chiefs Association.

Correa calls the bill his “zero-tolerance” policy — an unfortunate term given the ludicrous history of zero tolerance policies in schools on guns and drugs where students are expelled for drawings and aspirin.

SB 289 would make it illegal for a person to drive a vehicle if his or her blood contains any detectable amount of Schedule I, II, III or IV drugs. It excludes medicine used with a valid prescription issued by a licensed health care practitioner. The law has been passed in other states, but it raises a serious question about the prosecution of individuals who are not actually impaired with detectable levels of a drug still in their system.

What do you think?

Source: East Bay Express

31 thoughts on “California Legislature Considers “Sober Driving” Law”

  1. What is going to support the probable cause to obtain a search warrant to secure a blood draw just because the officer thinks someone might have schedule narcotics in their system but not be impaired? Could it be signs of impairment? why not use the standard DUI law if that was the case?

  2. Mike,

    If you had read my posting…. You’d seen that Michigan does it already….


    Always good to see you…

  3. This is yet another way to justify and encourage “selective” prosecution (read: racial profiling, contempt of cop).

    How many people are going to be arrested for DUI because they had mouthwash on their breath? Quite a few, I imagine.

  4. The genius that came up with this idea will get a DUI, under present laws, within a couple of months. Happens every time.
    Yes, that tells me something. You can’t express yourself without taking a dig at them libtards. That does tell me a lot about you. Envy.

  5. “California has all Democrats state senate, assembly and govenor Moon Beam Brown, does that tell you anything?”

    Uhhhhh . . . that neither party has a monopoly on stupid dangerous ideas and when it comes to fascism, neither party has that market cornered either?

    Follow. The. Money.

    “The bill is supported by the California Narcotic Officers Association and the California Police Chiefs Association.”

    That tells you everything you need to know. If they could have gotten an R or an I to sponsor the bill?

    They would have.

    When it comes to this kind of malfunction in government – which is irrational and dangerous laws pushed in the name of narrow special interests and their profits?

    Talking in partisan terms is counterproductive and misses the point.

    Partisanship is a big distraction from the real problem: creeping incremental fascism where money sets policy instead of good reasoning and legal principle.

  6. California has all Democrats state senate, assembly and govenor Moon Beam Brown, does that tell you anything?

  7. rcampbell, I agree with you. I think Bloomburg may have gotten his education at UCLA. It seems a lot of really outragious things start in California.


    “Retired California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Robert McGrory’s son Justin, who followed in is fathers’ footsteps and joined the CHP, was tragically struck and killed during a routine traffic stop by a drug impaired driver. “My issue is not with the young man who killed my son. Clearly the law as written does not have the teeth necessary to prosecute drugged drivers,” said Officer McGrory.

    “Impaired driving is dangerous and completely preventable. If you have drugs in your system you should not be on the road,” added Correa.”

    And what Gene H. said.

  9. I agree with Roman, Frankly, and Gene. California will be legalizing marijuana within the next 10 years. The fact that they’d except prescription drugs gives the lie to this being about safety. This is just an end round to the coming complete legalization of marijuana by the drug warriors and the authoritarian loving police. I’m confident California will not enact this foolishness. Turley says the law has passed in other states, but the source article does not include that information. Anyone know where this law is actually in effect?

  10. Recently a high profile Republican called on California Republicans to “get up off the mat”. I think it was Karl Rove but I’m not certain. I guess this is their newest, best idea for regaining political momentum in California. Somehow this is an acceptable level of personal intrusion, but Mayor Bloomberg’s Big Gulp effort is seen as creating a nanny state.

  11. This is unbelievable. People should be punished for any dangerous act they do regardless of degree of presence of drugs in their system.

    Should we punish the driver who performs no dangerous act?


  12. Everyone with a detectable amount of any Schedule III Controlled Substance is defined as an impaired driver when driving?

    Wow! Do I find myself in absolute agreement with that notion!!!

    Please note:

    From the Department of Justice, I observe that testosterone (DEA Number 4000) is a Schedule III Controlled Substance.

    So, anyone and everyone with a detectable amount of testosterone is impaired?

    Every driver with a detectable amount of testosterone is, by definition, an impaired driver?

    Okay, so being human and alive is identical with being impaired?

    Now, I finally understand the law?

    Or not?

  13. Just look who sponsored the bill: two professional associations with a pecuniary interest in elevated arrests. This has nothing to do with road safety. This is pure authoritarianism and has vast potential for abuse. It’s not just stupid on a practical level, it’s a dangerous idea.

  14. This is what you get when you cross an ignorance of the issue with a desire to preserve or expand the income of one sector. The narcotics boys are scared that they are going to lose money as the failed drugs on war begins to wind down. They have found a patsy in government who does not understand what he is proposing but likes it because it makes him sound tough of crime.

    Lots and lots of very stupid things get proposed in many states around the country but never sees the light of day thanks to cooler, better informed heads. Attention to this particular bit of stupidity should help bring it to a swift death. Let’s hope so anyway

  15. Let’s arrest Mr. Correa, for drving around being ‘Stupid’.

  16. I think this is a terrible idea and has no real basis in increasing public safety at all. If public safety is the excuse for this sort of “zero tolerance” madness, then why excuse detectable drugs with a valid prescription? If the presence of any of these substances in any amount is a threat to public safety (and it isn’t), then it shouldn’t matter if there is a valid scrip or not. But this isn’t about public safety. This is about further expansion of the police state, and creating a law that gives the police an excuse to stop and lock up almost anyone of legal age that drives.

    Stupid law. Hard to believe that this sort of thing is seriously being considered, much less that it’s already been passed in other states.

  17. This is insanity. Our country has gone completely off the deep end into the depths of a Fascist Police State.

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