Philadelphia DUI Lawyers
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
Driving under the influence in Pennsylvania refers to more than just driving while drunk. Driving while under the influence of illegal drugs, over the counter medications, or prescription drugs is just as serious as driving under the influence of alcohol. Unlike drunk driving, the problem that exists with prosecuting drugged drivers is the lack of available tests and standards that indicate the level of the driver’s impairment.
Measuring Driver Impairment
Some drugs like marijuana can stay in the bloodstream of a user for as long as five weeks. Finding traces of it in a person’s blood or urine at the time of an accident or when pulled over by a police officer does not necessarily prove that the driver was impaired at that time. Other drugs like cocaine, prescription medications, and even some over the counter products can be quickly excreted from the body, thus making it harder to determine if the drug was present at the time of an accident or traffic stop.
At the present time, there is no definitive way to determine the exact level of a drugged driver’s impairment. Alcohol levels are standardized to indicate driver impairment for anyone with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08 or higher. Medicinal marijuana and other prescription medications can have varying effects on different individuals. Some individuals who take over the counter antihistamines can have impaired coordination, while others who take a prescription antidepressant medication can appear to be intoxicated with slurred speech and unusual fatigue. Still, other drivers can be totally impaired from a pain medication like Vicodin that may not affect another individual. A driver charged with driving under the influence of drugs has a good chance of challenging the charges based on inconclusive evidence.
DUIs for Legal Drugs
A person who is apprehended for driving under the influence of medical marijuana can be charged with a DUI despite their legal use of the substance. It is imperative that drivers understand the effects medical marijuana or other prescription medication will have on them before they get behind the wheel. Also, antidepressant medications and even nighttime sleep medications can have residual effects causing mental confusion or a lack of coordination, which can also lead to charges.
If you or someone you know is arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs in Philadelphia, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Legal penalties associated with DUIDs are significant and can result in long-term sentences and heavy fines. The competent team of Philadelphia DUI lawyers at Patrick G. Geckle LLC is committed to helping their clients have their charges reduced or dismissed.
Penalties for Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania takes driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs seriously with strict penalties. Driving under the influence of drugs carries similar penalties to that of drunk driving.
- First Offense: Jail term with a minimum of 72 hours to a maximum of six months; minimum fine of $1,000, mandatory attendance at alcohol highway safety school; suspension of license for a minimum of 18 months; and possible community service of 150 hours and attendance at victim impact panel.
- Second Offense: Minimum prison term of 90 days to six months; minimum fine of $1500; mandatory attendance of alcohol highway safety school; suspension of license for a minimum of 18 months; and possibility of 150 hours of community service and attendance at victim impact panel.
- Third Offense or More: Minimum jail term of one year; minimum fine of $2500; suspension of license for a minimum of 18 months; and possibility of 150 hours of community service and attendance at victim impact panel.
Philadelphia DUI Lawyers at Patrick G. Geckle LLC Represent Clients With DUI Charges in Pennsylvania
If you have been charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania, know that a criminal lawyer can have your charges minimized or even dropped. The experienced team of Philadelphia DUI lawyers at Patrick G. Geckle LLC can defend you.
Call us at 215-735-3326, or toll-free at 800-555-7780, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our office is located in Philadelphia and serves clients throughout Delaware County, Montgomery County, Bucks County, and Chester County.