Drug impairment plays a dangerous role in car accidents, just as alcohol does. In many instances, the use of controlled substances and medication can lead to severe car crashes. Pennsylvania’s driving under the influence (DUI) laws are very strict, and if you get caught, you could face harsh consequences.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for drugged driving, you need immediate assistance from an experienced DUI lawyer. Our Philadelphia criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Lloyd Long invite you to keep reading as he provides further insight about DUI laws in Philadelphia. To schedule a free consultation on your drugged driving DUI charges, contact ou law offices today at (215) 525-6818.
Drug-Based DUI Laws in Pennsylvania
Driving under the influence refers to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Every state has statutes limiting the amount of alcohol content a person may have in their system when driving a motor vehicle, but there are also provisions banning drugged driving.
75 Pa.C.S.Pa.C.S. § 3802(d)(1) states that no individual can drive or operate a vehicle if they have in their blood any amount or concentration of any Schedule I, Schedule II, or Schedule III controlled substances or drug metabolites.
Additionally, § 3802(d)(2) prohibits driving a vehicle while under the influence of a drug or combination of them to the extent it impairs them from driving safely. This applies even without a blood sample or any proof of how much of the drug is in the driver’s system.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), controlled substances are categorized in Schedules, depending on the potential of abuse – among other considerations. As stated before, state law prohibits an individual from using any Schedule I, II, or III drugs. Some of the substances banned by law include, but are not limited to the following:
What to Do if You’re Pulled Over for DUI
A police officer can detain you if you show signs of impaired driving. If the detaining officer reasonably suspects you are committing a drugged driving offense, he could require you to perform field sobriety tests or have you tested for drugs. An important fact to keep in mind is that every person holding a driver’s license in the state of Pennsylvania has implicitly given consent to be tested for drugs if suspected of drugged driving. While you can refuse the test, this could mean losing your driving privileges for 6 to 18 months, and your refusal admitted as evidence in future proceedings. However, police must obtain a search warrant to draw your blood for testing.
What Are the Penalties for Drug-Driving in Pennsylvania?
As mentioned above, the state is rigorous when it comes to DUI cases. Any individual who violates the state’s law drugged driving laws could face the following consequences:
Penalties for a first Offense: Pa.C.S. § 3804(1)
Sentence: Mandatory minimum of 6 months probation.
Penalties for a Second Offense: Pa.C.S. § 3804(2)
Sentence: Imprisonment for no less than 5 days.
Fine: No less than $300.00 and no more than $2,500.00.
Penalties for a Third Offense: Pa.C.S. § 3804(3)
Sentence: Imprisonment for no less than 10 days.
Fine: No less than $500.00 and no more than $5,000.00.
While these penalties are not as substantial as other charges set forth by the state, they could still cause many problems. For instance, any conviction from drugged driving will appear on your criminal record and your driving record. Having a criminal conviction on your record can make things like finding a job very difficult. Additionally, your car insurance prime can skyrocket as a result of a DUI conviction, your insurance company may cancel your coverage.
Defenses to PA Drugged Driving Charges
Creating a strong defense in a DUI case can be challenging. If you have never gone through the legal system, it can be particularly daunting to confront such serious charges. One strategic defense your DUI lawyer can use is to challenge the reasonable suspicion for your traffic stop and the probable cause for your arrest. Another available defense to fight off your accusation is questioning the accuracy of your drug tests. Developing a defense argument in DUI cases requires experience and careful attention to detail. Contact a DUI lawyer immediately for help with your case.
Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is a severe crime. If you or someone you know has been arrested for drugged driving, you should contact an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. At the Law Offices of Lloyd Long, we have extensive experience handling DUI cases. We will fight aggressively and strategically to uphold your constitutional rights. If you wish to learn more about your DUI case in a free, confidential consultation, call our law offices today at (215) 525-6818.