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Types of Drugs That Can Lead To DUI In Salisbury

You don’t have to be under the influence of an illegal drug to be convicted of a drug DUI offense. There are two different types of drug driving offenses in Maryland. There is the offense of driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance.  A controlled dangerous substance is a substance that has been identified and defined under Maryland law as being a controlled dangerous substance, such as cocaine or heroin, not a medicine that was prescribed lawfully or just an over the counter medicine.

Driving Under Influence of Prescribed or Over-The-Counter Medication

The driver could be convicted for this offense if he is taking prescribed medication, an over the counter medication, or is taking any one of those things and also consuming alcohol. Many people don’t realize that they could be convicted even if they are only taking something bought at the drugstore, like allergy medication. For example, most antihistamines and cold medicines available over the counter can induce drowsiness, which can be magnified by also consuming alcohol.

In summary, it is possible to be convicted of driving while impaired by drugs or drugs and alcohol even if you’re not under the influence of illegal drugs.

What’s Needed For a Drug DUI Conviction in Salisbury

In order to convict the defendant of a controlled dangerous substance charge, the state would have to rely on a drug recognition expert to have completed an examination on the driver. The drug recognition expert is trained to do a long multi-step analysis of the driver. If the officer believes that the person is driving impaired by a controlled dangerous substance, then the officer will ask that the driver submit to a blood test.

The blood test will only show results if there was some sort of controlled dangerous substance within the bloodstream. This test will not show that the drug itself was affecting his driving, only that there were in fact drugs in the person’s system at the time that the blood test was taken. Driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance is an offense that carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and/or a $1000 fine.

Driving While Impaired By Combination of Drugs and Alcohol

Apart from that, an individual can be charged for driving while impaired by drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol. The state is not required to prove that the driver was using an illegal drug. An impaired individual may only be taking prescription medication or something given over the counter. This type of offense does not carry as serious a penalty as driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substances. The maximum penalty for driving while impaired by drugs or drugs and alcohol is a two month jail sentence and/or a $500 fine. Now in that charge that doesn’t involve controlled dangerous substances, the state does have the burden of proving that the defendant could not drive a vehicle safely. This is not language that is contained within the driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance charge.

In these charges, there would have to be testimony from the police officer regarding how the vehicle was being driven. The officer would give examples of how the individual was not able to operate the vehicle safely, such as failing to stay in his lane, or crossing the center line.

Illegal Substances That Can Lead to DUI Arrest and Charge

A person could be arrested for consuming any type of substance that impacts their ability to safely operate a vehicle, even if an individual has only consumed alcohol. In some DUI cases, an individual took a drug that was prescribed to them or they took an over the counter medication without realizing that the active ingredients could cause drowsiness and affect their ability to drive. Of course, driving under the influence of illegal substances such as cocaine or heroin can also trigger a DUI arrest.