For a handful of people, being arrested for DUI of drugs comes as a shock since they thought that “DUI” only related to the consumption of alcohol. However, DUI/DWI of drugs is just as aggressively punished as, if not more so than, driving under the influence of alcohol or driving while impaired as a result of alcohol consumption.
How Did this Happen?
Being arrested for DUI or DWI of drugs can have many consequences, including loss of employment, driver’s license suspension and even prison time. It does not matter what type of drug is involved in order for a person to be convicted of driving under the influence or impairment of drugs. It can be an over-the-counter cold medicine, prescription medication, or a controlled dangerous substance. On the other hand, the use and/or possession of a controlled dangerous substance would also be a drug crime and subsequently carries its own penalties separate from DUI/DWI.
The defining characteristic of a Maryland DUI of drugs is that the driver is operating their vehicle negligently or recklessly due to being under the influence or impairment of a drug, or any combination of drugs, and many arrests are made under this presumption, whether the driver’s actions are related to the drug or not.
Maryland DUI of Drugs Defenses
Law enforcement has zero tolerance for drivers who place other motorists in danger by being under the influence of drugs, and rightfully so. However, a person doesn’t actually need to be impaired by drugs to be arrested for driving under the influence. Oftentimes, drivers are left confused about why they were arrested. If a police officer suspects that you are under the influence of a drug and driving, or if you refuse to take a chemical test, then you can be arrested, regardless of whether you are actually impaired by a drug or not. This is why it is imperative that you retain the services of an experienced DUI of drugs defense attorney. Without one, you may be convicted of a crime you did not commit.
Oftentimes, what makes a driver seem like he or she is under the influence is actually just bad driving, which has significantly fewer consequences than a DUI drugs arrest. Additionally, in their efforts to take dangerous drivers off the road, police officers can make mistakes in procedures that lead to an unlawful arrest.
DUI of Drugs Laws in Maryland
Under § 21-902 of Maryland’s Transportation Code, “a person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while he is so far impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that he cannot drive a vehicle safely.”
According to § 27-101, the penalties for being convicted of violating the state’s DUI of drugs law is a misdemeanor charge, a maximum one year imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $1000.00. The penalties increase in severity with each subsequent offense. Should a person cause an injury accident while driving under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs or alcohol, the penalties they would be subjected to are severe and include years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
Anyone arrested for a DUI, whether of drugs or alcohol, will also be subject to a driver’s license suspension of at least 120 days. The suspension time period increases with subsequent offenses.
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help
Being arrested for Maryland DUI of drugs can be very overwhelming, especially if you can’t understand why you were arrested for DUI after being pulled over for a common traffic violation. Most of the time, a driver is asked if they have had anything to drink or if they are currently taking any type of medication, and if the answer is, “Yes,” then the officer usually makes the assumption that the driver’s traffic violation was the result of impairment. It does not take a genius to see the flaw in this logic, but it does take a skilled attorney to ensure that such logic has no bearing on your case.
At Alpert Schreyer, our aggressive DUI attorneys fully understand proper arrest procedure and can build an effective defense against unjust charges on your behalf. If you have been arrested for a DUI of drugs, contact us today at (866) 444-6363 to learn more about avoiding unnecessary penalties. Our lawyers have obtained numerous successful case results for over 1,000 people arrested for DUI throughout the state.