Everybody knows that it is illegal to drive while under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol. That said, millions of people are legally prescribed drugs by their physicians for a wide variety of medical conditions, including anxiety, depression, pain issues, and more. Unfortunately, these drugs can also have an adverse impact on a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, which may lead you to wonder if you can receive a DUI for operating a vehicle while on a legally-prescribed drug. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Allegheny County DUI lawyer from our firm to learn more. Here are some of the questions you may have:
Can you get a DUI for driving while on a legally-prescribed drug in Pennsylvania?
In short, the answer is yes, you can absolutely face a DUI charge, even if you were legally prescribed the drug in question. As long as the arresting officer can prove that you were, in fact, impaired by the drug at the time you were operating the motor vehicle.
Common examples of impairment caused by certain prescription drugs can include drowsiness, altered judgment, impaired coordination, delayed reaction time, blurred vision, and more. If you exhibit any of these symptoms and the officer believes your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is impaired, you can face DUI charges.
What are the penalties for driving while under the influence of drugs in Pennsylvania?
For a first offense, you will face misdemeanor charges, which can warrant a 12-month driver’s license suspension, up to 72 hours in jail, a fine between $1,000 and $5,000, and one year with the ignition interlock device in your vehicle, among other penalties.
For a second offense, you will face a first-grade misdemeanor charge, which warrants at least 90 days in jail, an 18-month driver’s license suspension, a fine between $1,500 and $10,000, and one year with the ignition interlock device in your vehicle, among other penalties.
Finally, for a third or subsequent drug DUI, you will face a felony charge, which warrants at least one year of incarceration, an 18-month driver’s license suspension, a fine ranging from $2,500 and $10,000, and one year with the ignition interlock device in your vehicle, among other penalties.
If you’ve been charged with a drug DUI in Pennsylvania, the time to act is now. Contact a seasoned DUI attorney from the Law Offices of George Heym today so we can get started preparing your defense and fighting for your future.