Not only do Pennsylvania’s DUI laws apply to drunk driving, but they also prohibit individuals from operating or being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs (DUID). If your faculties are impaired by drug intoxication or your blood contains any amount of a drug, you could be charged with drugged driving.
The state’s drugged driving laws are strict. Law enforcement officials do not have to provide evidence of impaired driving to arrest a suspected drugged driver. As long as they have reasonable suspicion that a motorist is intoxicated by drugs, they can make a lawful arrest for drugged driving.
When a suspected drugged driver is arrested, he/she is subject to a blood or urine test. Individuals who refuse to consent to a post-arrest chemical test will have their driver’s license automatically suspended and their refusal will be used against them in court.
The following are the penalties for a first-time drugged driving conviction in Pennsylvania:
- A maximum jail sentence of six months (with a minimum term of 72 hours)
- Fines of up to $5,000 (not including court fees)
- Driver’s license suspension for up to 12 months
- Community service of up to 150 hours
- DUI victim’s impact panel participation
Before sentencing, all offenders will be asked to participate in an alcohol and drug evaluation. The judge will consider the outcome and the evaluator’s recommendations to determine if you are required to complete a treatment program. In most cases, you will be required to take the “Alcohol Highway Safety Program.”
When it comes to driver’s license suspension, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) for up to one year before you can reinstate your driving privileges. Yet, you could obtain limited driving privileges if you serve half of your suspension period with an IID installed in your vehicle(s).