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Pennsylvania DUI On Drugs Laws


If you are accused of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs you’re facing some very serious penalties. Drug DUI cases are a somewhat unusual and specialized type of DUI case, with laws and penalties all their own.

Pennsylvania DUI on Drugs Laws

Pennsylvania uses a system when charging DUI Drug cases that meansif any amount of any drug on the prohibited list is found in your blood at the time of your arrest, you’ll face charges under the Third Tier Highest Impairment rate, which carries the most serious penalties. What’s even worse is that you are guilty of DUI regardless of the legality of drug(s) in your system. The DUI law covers everything from obviously illicit substances to relatively harmless prescription and over-the-counter medications. Considering how many drugs can cause you to be guilty of DUI on Drugs, the penalties for conviction are surprisingly narrow and severe.

Pennsylvania DUI on Drugs Penalties

DUI cases involving drugs are somewhat rare in Pennsylvania due to the way police usually prosecute these cases. In most cases, the reason a police officer even administers Field Sobriety Tests in the first place is because they smelled alcohol on the breath of the driver after pulling them over. If a driver has been using drugs AND drinking alcohol, usually the officer will only test the blood for Alcohol because that is what he smelled, and because it costs extra money and is a separate test for drugs, and he might not have any reasonable suspicions that the driver is also using drugs. So, most times, when a driver is using both drugs and alcohol, they only discover a BAC for alcohol because that is all the police will have tested for. However, in some cases it is obvious to test for drugs, like if the driver was smoking Marijuana in the car immediately before being pulled over, and the car reeks of it. The big problem of getting charged for a DUI on Drugs is that these cases are automatically charged at Third Tier Highest Impairment rate. They subject the accused to the harshest penalties for DUI in Pennsylvania. The following are the penalties for a DUI on Drugs conviction in PA. They are the same as the penalties for non-Drug DUI at the Third Tier Highest Impairment level across the board:

First Offense
  • Minimum Mandatory Jail sentence of 3 days(up to 6 months)
  • License suspension for 12 months
  • Mandatory ignition interlock
  • Fines between $1,000 and $5,000
  • No jury trial, only a Bench Trial (trial by Judge) is available
Second Offense
  • First degree misdemeanor conviction—can have a Jury trial
  • Minimum Mandatory Jail sentence of 90 days (up to 5 years)
  • License suspension for 18 months
  • Mandatory ignition interlock
  • Fines between $1,500 to $10,000
Third Offense
  • First degree misdemeanor conviction—can have a Jury trial
  • Minimum Mandatory Jail sentence of 1year (up to 5 years)
  • License suspension for 18 months
  • Mandatory ignition interlock
  • Fines between $2,500 to $10,000

Like all DUIs, a conviction for DUI on Drugs will appear on your permanent, public criminal record – meaning anyone who wants to probe into your past can see your DUI conviction. Because that conviction never goes away, it can and often does complicate job applications, insurance rates, and many other things in your life for a long time. A conviction for DUI while on Drugs can really change your life – and not for the better. This is why it is so important to fight back by hiring an aggressive DUI attorney with specific experience in DUI on Drugs cases like yours.

Bompadre Law Can Help You Fight Back

Each DUI on Drugs case is different, including yours. Due to different metabolic factors, each person expels drugs and alcohol from their system at a different rate. You may even have a medical condition that bears on this. It is possible for you to be considered under the influence of drugs even if the drugs in question are over-the-counter or prescription medication, and you took a legal dose, or accidently ingested more than you should have. But try actually proving that to the court yourself.

Any number of things can give rise to a good defense of your case. Your blood sample at the time of arrest could have been contaminated. There have been countless cases where various substances are accidentally mingled with the blood and alters the results, but you would never know that, be able to discern that, or handle that on your own? Police officers may have violated Pennsylvania or Federal search and seizure or reasonable suspicion laws when they pulled you over. Chances are, as an average citizen, you wouldn’t know that. And if you did, how could you get a court to believe you?

Bompadre Law can help. Attorney Bompadre highly-trained and personally experienced in the nuances of DUI Drug cases, and he can employ some of the foremost specialists in the courtroom. His superior knowledge and aggressive courtroom style sets him apart from other lawyers. With Bompadre Law at your side, you can feel confident that every possibility will be explored in your case in order to fully protect your rights.

When you’re ready to fight back against your DUI on Drugs charge, contact Bompadre Law for your free case evaluation.

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(484) 505-0188