Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) is a serious offense in Pennsylvania. Unlike other jurisdictions that treat these kinds of cases as a traffic offense, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania automatically treats these cases as a criminal offense.
Under Pennsylvania law, the DUID statute is not just limited to drinking. If you drive while having any drugs in your system, and prosecutors can show your ability to safely drive is impaired, then you can be arrested and found guilty of having drugs in your system.
Prosecutors can prove their case by conducting a blood test, or if you admit to police that you took any kind of drug, including street drugs and prescription medication.
If you have been charged with DUID, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to tell you whether you have any valid defenses under the law and whether there were any improper actions taken by police.
The criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. have decades of experience handling Driving Under the Influence of Drug cases and can help you sort through your case to prepare an adequate defense.
Types of Driving Under the Influence of Drug Cases
In Pennsylvania, the law does not discriminate between those who drive while under the influence of street drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, rather the law states that any drug or combination of drugs, whether prescribed or not, can impair your ability to drive. Knowing this is especially important, because many people are arrested for prescription medication intoxication and have never tried street drugs. In other words, you can be arrested under the DUI statutes in Pennsylvania if you take your prescribed medications and drive, provided the officer can testify that you were incapable of driving safely.
There are a number of other scenarios where police can charge you for having drugs in your system. Those include:
- Mixing non-street drugs and street drugs
- Mixing street drugs and Alcohol
- Having a street drug in your system (such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc.)
- Having non-prescribed prescription medication in your system (oxycodone when you do not have a prescription for it)
- Having any metabolite (non-active, processed parts of the drug) in your system. You should know that metabolites can stick around in your body for days, if not weeks, after taking a drug.
If you are charged with driving while having drugs, or a combination of drugs, in your system, you can expect at least 72 hours in jail for a first offense, 90 days in jail for a second offense, or 1 year in jail for a third offense. These are serious penalties.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer?
You can potentially avoid some of the harshest penalties for the crimes above, if you engage an attorney. An attorney can look at procedures the police used, the facts of the case, and any facts you can provide to mount a vigorous defense.
The DUI attorneys at The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. can help you prepare this defense and advise you whether you could be eligible for a pretrial diversion program or fight the case on factual or procedural grounds. Call us today at 215-543-7220 for a free initial consultation.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.