What You Should Know About Drugged Driving in PA

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drugged driving pa pennsylvania

It is a common misconception that charges for driving under the influence are only for people who get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. As it so happens, driving under the influence of drugs is just as illegal. Please read on, then contact an experienced Pittsburgh drug DUI lawyer today if you currently face charges of drugged driving in PA.

How does PA define drugged driving?

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is quite clear about driving under the influence of drugs. Commonwealth law, in essence, says that anyone who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs to the extent where it impairs his or her ability to drive or has any amount of a controlled substance in his or her blood will be charged with a DUI.

What are the penalties for drugged driving in PA?

The exact penalties one will face for sustaining a conviction will vary on the number of times, if any, you have previously been convicted of this or similar offenses. That being said, the penalties are as follows:

First offense drug DUI:

  • Misdemeanor conviction
  • Mandatory minimum of 72 hours of incarceration
  • A 12-month suspension of your driver’s license
  • A fine between $1,000 and $5,000
  • Potential court-ordered treatment
  • Possibility of community service
  • Potential enrollment in alcohol highway safety program
  • 1 year with the ignition interlock device

Second offense drug DUI:

  • 1st-grade misdemeanor conviction
  • Mandatory minimum of 90 days of incarceration
  • An 18-month suspension of your driver’s license
  • A fine between $1,500 and $10,000
  • Potential court-ordered treatment
  • Possibility of community service
  • Potential enrollment in alcohol highway safety program
  • 1 year with the ignition interlock device

Third or subsequent offense drug DUI:

  • Felony conviction
  • Mandatory minimum of 1 year of incarceration
  • An 18-month suspension of your driver’s license
  • A fine between $2,500 and $10,000
  • Potential court-ordered treatment
  • Possibility of community service
  • Potential enrollment in alcohol highway safety program
  • 1 year with the ignition interlock device

How can you defend against drugged driving charges?

Before you do anything else, you should strongly consider retaining the services of a skilled Allegheny County DUI lawyer. Together, you will prove one or more of the following defenses:

  • Law enforcement did not issue a field sobriety test
  • Law enforcement incorrectly administered a field sobriety test
  • Your arrest was unconstitutional
  • Law enforcement did not have a valid reason to stop you
  • Blood or urine tests produced a false positive
  • Blood or urine tests did not contain a sufficient amount of the substance to warrant a drug DUI conviction

Keystone State prosecutors will not make it easy for you, whether you sustain a conviction or not. That is why it is in your best interests to give us a call today.

Contact Our Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer

The Law Office of George Heym focuses exclusively on DUI defense. George Heym is a former Allegheny County DUI prosecutor with an understanding of both sides of a DUI case, notable litigation experience, and relationships with local courts. Contact our firm to fight for your rights.

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