Pennsylvania has adopted a zero tolerance for drugged driving and buzzed driving. Many drivers understand that our state has severe penalties for drunk driving. However, drivers may not understand that the state also takes a very tough stance against driving under the influence of drugs (DUID).
Pennsylvania’s zero tolerance for DUID means that if you have any amount of a drug in your system that can impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle, you can be charged with DUID. Furthermore, the police officer does not need to conduct a chemical test to arrest you for driving under the influence of drugs. If the officer has a reasonable suspicion you are under the influence of drugs, that suspicion is enough for the arrest. Something as simple as your conduct or the odor of marijuana in a vehicle can result in a DUID arrest.
Because the consequences of a drugged driving arrest can be very costly, it is in your best interest to contact an Edinboro drugged driving attorney immediately. Call (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Erie criminal defense attorneys.
What Does Pennsylvania Consider Drugged Driving?
Driving under the influence of drugs can be defined in more than one way. If you are operating a motor vehicle or you are in physical control of the vehicle’s movement, and you have any amount of a controlled substance in your system, you can be charged with DUID. Therefore, if you have any amount of an illegal drug in your system, including marijuana, LSD, heroin, or crystal meth, you can be found guilty of drugged driving in Pennsylvania.
However, DUID is not only limited to illegal drugs. You can also be arrested for drugged driving if you are driving under the influence of a prescription medication that impairs your ability to operate the vehicle safely. For example, you can be charged with DUID if you are driving a vehicle recklessly or dangerously because you took a prescription sleeping medication or pain medication and got behind the wheel of a vehicle before the effects wore off. Therefore, you must be very careful to check the potential side effects of prescription medications before operating a vehicle.
Penalties for Drugged Driving in Pennsylvania
As with drunk driving convictions, the penalties for DUID can be severe. For a first offense of driving under the influence of drugs, you can face a mandatory jail sentence of 72 hours with a maximum of six months in jail. The fine for a first offense DUID can be up to $5,000. For a second conviction for drugged driving, the mandatory jail time increases to 90 days with a maximum of five years. The maximum fine also increases to $10,000. In addition, you can lose your driver’s license if you are convicted of drugged driving in Pennsylvania.
Contact a Pennsylvania Drugged Driving Attorney Now!
Do not take a drugged driving charge lightly. You do not want to jeopardize your freedom or your future by failing to consult with an experienced DUID attorney. A skilled DUID defense lawyer can help protect your legal rights. He can also help you develop a defense strategy that gives you the best chance of lessening the negative consequences of a drugged driving charge.
Call The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Edinboro drugged driving attorneys. We never judge — we want to hear your side of the story so we can help you fight your drugged driving charges.