Driving under the Influence of Drugs in Pennsylvania

Drinking, Drugs and Driving

So you’ve been stopped by police on the roadway in Pennsylvania and it’s determined that you are operating your motor vehicle after having taken a prescription drug, one that was legally prescribed for you. Are you in violation of the law? What are the potential consequences?

In Pennsylvania, as in other states, there are laws, similar to DUI laws, which make it illegal to drive under the influence of drugs (DUID). Pennsylvania is considered to be a “zero tolerance” state with respect to driving under the influence of controlled substances.

According to Section 75-3802 of the Pennsylvania statutes, you may not be in actual control of the movement of a motor vehicle if there is “any amount” of a prohibited substance in your blood. Accordingly, a police officer can pull you over and can arrest you based on any reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence of a banned substance. The statute does not require actual evidence of impaired driving—a police officer may make the stop and arrest on any reasonable evidence.

Under Pennsylvania law, you can face a DUID charge if you have any trace of any controlled substance regulated by the federal government in your bloodstream. However, the drug does not need to be on the list of controlled substances, but need only be shown to have impaired your ability to drive. Pennsylvania recognizes the implied consent rule, which holds that, by getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, you impliedly consent to take a blood test when there’s probable cause to suspect driving under the influence. If you refuse, that evidence can be used against you at trial.

Contact Attorney Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t lose your license or go to jail. Let us fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
The American Society of Legal Advocates

Driving under the Influence of Drugs in New Jersey

Drinking, Drugs and Driving

There’s a lot of emphasis on drinking and driving, but New Jersey also has a law that prohibits driving under the influence of drugs. According to NJSA 39:4-50, it is illegal to operate any motor vehicle “while under the influence of a narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug.” Unlike laws governing drinking and driving, there are no specified levels of intoxication or influence, and there’s no blood testing standard by which you can be found guilty. Instead, the determination of impairment is made on a case-by-case basis, and is often entirely at the discretion of the arresting officer or prosecutor.

Furthermore, the law doesn’t identify specific drugs that can lead to prosecution. In practice, though, prosecutors typically consider any drug regulated as a controlled substance to be grounds for a DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) prosecution. Accordingly, this means that you could be charged with impaired driving if you were under the influence of prescription drugs that you were legally taking.

If you are pulled over and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs, you can face prosecution in a manner similar to being charged with drinking and driving. You can also expect that the penalties imposed will be comparable to those for a drunk driving conviction.

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t lose your license or go to jail. Let us fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
The American Society of Legal Advocates