Many Dwi Convictions Come From Using Drugs Too

DUI and DWI convictions are not limited to alcohol use. In fact, many people across the country get convicted of driving under the influence of drugs each year.

In 2006, 10-22% of all drivers involved in car crashes were under the influence of some type of illegal drug. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health for 2006 states that 10.2 million people over the age of 12 admitted to driving under the influence of drugs at some point during the previous year. Marijuana is the most common drug drivers test positive for each year.

What Happens When You Get Stopped

If the police suspect that you are impaired by drugs, they will give you a field sobriety test and a blood alcohol level (BAC) test. They will do this if you are impaired by prescription drugs as well as illegal drugs.

In most states, the consequences for refusing to take a BAC test are more severe than if you take it and fail. In the state of Maryland, you will automatically have your license suspended for 120 days if you refuse to take the test. If it is your second offense, the suspension will last for a year. Most states will either require you to take a urine or blood test if they suspect you are under the influence of drugs, since a breathalyzer won’t register the drugs in your system.

Consequences

Penalties vary from state to state. In Maryland, the consequences for a first offense driving under the influence of drugs are:

· Up to two months in jail

· Maximum fine of $500

· Suspension of driver’s license for up to 60 days

· Revocation of license if driving under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance

For a second offense in Maryland, the penalties are a bit stiffer:

· Up to one year in jail

· Maximum fine of $500

· Suspension of license for 120 days

· Revocation of license if driving under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance

You will still be given a DWI without alcohol consumption if you are legally entitled to use a drug unless you can prove that you were unaware that the drug would impair your driving ability.

If a police officer believes you are under the influence of drugs, he can search your car. If drugs are found in the vehicle, it will be impounded. This is true even if the drugs belong to a passenger.

What to do if you Get Arrested

Driving under the influence of drugs falls in more of a gray area than driving under the influence of alcohol. There are many drugs that will stay in your system for days, weeks, and even months after you have used them. Therefore, it is difficult to prove conclusively that you were driving under the influence simply because you test positive for drugs.

You should never admit to using drugs while driving. Once you have been released from jail, you need to consult an experienced DUI attorney. Retaining legal representation will greatly help your chances of reducing your penalties.

If you have been charged with a DUI in the Baltimore, Annapolis, and Columbia, Maryland area, please contact the law offices of Jimeno & Gray P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation.