When you hear of a driver charged with DUI or driving under the influence, you assume that the driver was drunk. However, while driving under the influence of alcohol is common, driving under the influence of marijuana is also become a growing problem in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States.
DUI laws in Pennsylvania prohibit drivers from operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol OR controlled substances, including marijuana. This is the case whether you are driving “while impaired” or “under the influence” of marijuana. In either case, you are breaking the law because marijuana use is still illegal in Pennsylvania.
DUID or Drugged Driving in Pennsylvania
Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) also called drugged driver is being enforced by law enforcement officers throughout the state. If you are pulled over for suspension of impaired driving, you can be arrested and charged with DUID if you have marijuana in your system. Because of the state’s Implied Consent Law, it is assumed you give your consent to a breath, blood, or urine chemical test for drugs and alcohol. The threshold level for THC or its metabolites is currently one nanogram per milliliter (1 ng/ml). This level is in accordance with the states zero tolerance policy — any amount of marijuana in your system may result in a DUID charge.
However, for the state to obtain a conviction for driving while impaired by marijuana, the state must prove that you had marijuana metabolite of at least 1 ng/ml in your system at the time of the arrest. Because measuring recent marijuana use is still very difficult, we urge you to fight charges of driving under the influence of marijuana. Our Edinboro DUID attorneys have experience fighting these charges and urge you to consult with our office before you accept any plea agreement.
Punishments for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Pennsylvania
If you are convicted of a first offense DUID for marijuana in our state, you face the same penalties as a conviction for a first DUI. Penalties include:
- A $300 file;
- Six months mandatory probation;
- Comply with any drug treatment requirements; and,
- Attend a highway safety and alcohol program.
If you are facing subsequent marijuana DUID charges, the penalties for a conviction are more severe. For a second conviction within ten years, your sentence could include:
- A fine up to $2,500;
- Up to six months in jail;
- Suspension of driving privileges for one year;
- Mandatory alcohol highway safety school;
- Mandatory alcohol and drug assessment; and,
- Installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for one year.
What Should You Do If You Are Charged with Marijuana DUI?
Being charged with a DUI of marijuana is a serious criminal offense that can result in severe punishments. Furthermore, the consequences of a marijuana DUI conviction go far behind the punishment imposed by the court. A DUI conviction can impact your career, school, and family.
There are several legal defenses for drugged driving charges. Our Edinboro drugged driving attorney can discuss the options available to you based on the facts of your case. Before you provide a statement to the police or the prosecutor or you accept a plea agreement, call our office for a free consultation.
Being charged with marijuana DUI is different from being guilty — let us fight for a fair and legal outcome to your DUID charges. Contact The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our attorneys.