The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2014, over 20 percent of drivers were under the influence of drugs. Half of these drivers received their drugs because they were prescribed them by their physicians. If you do this, you run the risk of placing your future in jeopardy, since the penalties are similar to that of regular DUIs. Many states, including Pennsylvania, have taken steps to ensure that people who are found guilty of prescription drugs dui are no longer given the privilege of driving.
Driving While Using Prescription Drugs
One of the key tenets of the law in Pennsylvania is that no matter what kind of drug is causing you to be impaired, you are still driving while you are under the influence of a substance that may alter your reaction times and cause others harm. In many instances, prescription medications have proven to be even more impairing to drivers than marijuana and other street drugs. This is because street drugs are often cut with non-medical substances that reduce their effectiveness. By their very nature, prescription drugs are pure narcotics and may have a much greater influence on the human body. Valium, Ambien, Oxycodone and Xanax are just a few of the prescription drugs that can lead to your arrest for prescription drugs dui.
The consequences for prescription drugs dui is similar to that handed down to those who drive while under the influence of alcohol. The law states that for a first offence, the driver can be fined up to $5,000, have their license suspended for up to a year, and face as long as 6 months in jail. Those who have made the mistake before and have a prior DUI conviction, whether it was due to alcohol or drugs, can face steeper penalties. This usually includes greater fines, increased jail times and the possibility of losing the ability to drive at all.
Applebaum and Associates Can Help With Your DUI
Even if you are arrested and charged, there is still hope. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania, like Michael Applebaum, can help you aggressively combat charges, and many will provide a free initial consultation. Investing in your own legal representation may help you avoid thousands of dollars in fines, as well as possible felony convictions and state prison time, depending on the severity of the charge.