How Do Drugs Factor into DUI & DWI Charges?

How Do Drugs Factor into DUI & DWI Charges?

Driving under the influence of alcohol is not the only way an individual can be arrested for a DUI—a DUID, or driving under the influence of drugs, should also be of concern to Maryland drivers. Here, the legal professionals at ENLawyers explain how drugs factor into DUI and DWI charges and consequences.

Maryland Drugged Driving Laws

In Maryland, it is illegal to operate a vehicle if under the influence of drugs. Maryland statute regarding drugged driving is very broad, and use of any drug, whether illicit, prescribed or over-the-counter, can contribute to a drugged driving charge.

For a first-time offense, those convicted may receive a $500 fine, imprisonment for two months or both. A second offense will also incur a $500 fine, imprisonment for one year or both. For a third or subsequent offense, a fine of up to $3,000, imprisonment for up to three years, or both, is possible.

For a drugged driving offense, as with any other moving offenses, the MVA applies points to your driving record. Once you have received a certain number of points you may face suspension or revocation of your license, which rescinds your driving privileges in the state of Maryland.

Determining Incapacitation

In Maryland, there is a legal blood alcohol concentration—lower than .08—but there is no legal limit for a concentration of drugs or controlled dangerous substances in an individual’s system. This means that it is the duty of the officer on the scene to determine if a driver has been incapacitated by their drug use, and are no longer able to safely operate a vehicle. As an officer’s observations and determinations are subjective, it is critical to enlist the help of a skilled DUI/drugged driving attorney to challenge the officer’s decision, as soon as possible following your arrest.

Depending on the circumstances observed, an officer can ask you to submit to a 12-step evaluation, performed by a drug recognition expert in order to determine your level of incapacity due to drugs or controlled substances. A blood test may also be requested, which must be administered by a medical professional within four hours of arrest. An individual may refuse the 12-step evaluation, as well as the blood test, unless their driving resulted in a fatal or life-threatening accident. Refusal, however, will result in immediate revocation of your license, and your refusal may be used as evidence in court.

ENLawyer’s Bottom Line

Driving while under the influence of drugs is a serious charge, and can result in major consequences for Maryland drivers. But, this does not mean that your mistake should ruin the rest of your life. At The Law Offices of Eldridge & Nachtman, our experienced attorneys have extensive knowledge of Maryland drugged driving laws, and are dedicated to helping clients prevent a drugged driving charge from become a permanent stain on their record. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or a controlled dangerous substance, contact us today for more information, or a consultation.

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