When most people think of impaired driving or driving under the influence, they think of it as meaning under the influence of alcohol. However, in the state of Maryland, it’s also illegal to drive under the influence of any drug that affects your ability to act and react regularly. While drugged driving primarily refers to illegal drugs (most often, marijuana), it can mean any controlled substance, whether it be prescription or over-the-counter. The consequence when it comes to drugged driving is often the same as it would be for driving under the influence of alcohol, even if the effects of the drug you were using do not compare to those of alcohol.
Maryland Drugged Driving Laws
In the state of Maryland, you are guilty of drugged driving if
- You are driving any vehicle and are so far impaired by any drug that you cannot drive a vehicle safely.
- You are driving any vehicle while being impaired by any controlled dangerous substance and not entitled to use that controlled dangerous substance under the laws of the state.
In Maryland, there is no blood testing standard for drugged driving. So unlike driving under the influence of alcohol, there is no standard “legal limit” for the amount of drugs legally allowed to be in your system. It will be determined whether or not the driver was impaired by drugs at the discretion of the prosecutor on a case-by-case basis, which is why it is so important to hire a competent criminal defense lawyer to represent your case. However, you must submit to a blood test, as refusing to take it can be submitted as evidence against you in court.
What Drugs are Most Often Involved?
Although you can be convicted of drugged driving in Maryland for driving under the influence of any drug, marijuana is the drug most associated with drugged driving cases. In terms of substances at fault for impaired driving arrests, marijuana falls second only to alcohol. If you are arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana or any other illegal drug, and more of that illegal drug is also found inside your vehicle or on your possession, you could have a whole slew of charges on your hands, not just the DUI charge. It’s due to this fact that getting in touch with a qualified criminal defense attorney is so necessary after your arrest.
If you are charged with drugged driving, you are subject to facing a number of harsh penalties including fines, license suspension, and potentially even jail time. However, if you can successfully challenge your arrest in court, you may be able to significantly reduce these consequences. Contact Bruce Robinson & Associates today for help involving your drugged driving arrest.