Maryland Prescription Drug DUI Penalties 

Maryland prescription drug DUI penalties can be difficult. The prosecution must prove more than the presence of the drug in the person’s system. It must prove the total effect of everything on the driver that put them in a position where they are impaired or under the influence of the drug indicated by the decreased ability to operate a vehicle safely and effectively. Consult with a professional attorney for more on what the prosecution has to prove or other related matters.

Holding a Person Accountable for Effects of Medication

A person is always held accountable for driving under the influence. However, some circumstances can affect how a judge may react. When the person took the medication for a long time without problems, and the homeostasis of the person’s body changed abruptly for some reason, the judge can take those factors into consideration for the sentencing aspect of the case.

The irregularity could show that this was not an intentional act. But a DUI does not always mean intent. Judges understand that people try to do the best they can but sometimes their best is not good enough. If the state can prove the prescription drug DUI in Maryland, the attorney can work towards mitigation on the back end. But in the front, anything that can be used to protect the person and to fight a case, the attorney looks at in every way.

Penalties for Prescription Drug DUI Charges in Maryland

Depending on the citation and the charge, penalties for a prescription drug DUI in Maryland can differ. Transportation Article § 21-902 (d) carries one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for a first offense. Section 21-902 (c) carries 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. There are variations depending on the other charges by jail and/or fine.

Charging DUI with Legal or Prescribed Drugs

When the police officer has a suspicion of controlled dangerous substances, the stop starts more or less the same. They observe a vehicle. Every DUI stop is an observation of a vehicle then, subsequently, when the officer gets to the vehicle window, they make their initial observation of the driver. If the officer removes the possibility of alcohol and still believes there is impairment, they call for drug recognition expert (DRE).

The DRE can do a more comprehensive examination of an individual to develop reasonable grounds, which is the basic level of reasonableness that permits officers to spread their investigation further when they believe someone is impaired by a controlled dangerous substance. They use blood tests. They cannot force someone to take a blood test. A person has a right to refuse. The only way an officer can get around that is to obtain a warrant from a judge.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter medications are prosecuted for a prescription drug DUI in Maryland as well. When someone takes something that can impede their ability to control a vehicle, they should take that into consideration before they drive. Over-the-counter cough medicines, allergy medicines, and other drugs are labeled to warn someone that drowsiness can impair the ability to drive.

The citation states that the person was driving while impaired by drugs, or drugs and alcohol or driving while impaired by a controlled, dangerous substance. A drug can be something that a person takes legally and can be a prescribed. However, if the drug has a warning label that cautions the person that use of the drug could impair their ability to operate a vehicle, they must be careful when taking the medication because they could end up with a DUI. A person can be just as likely to get penalties for an over-the-counter medication during a prescription drug DUI stop in Maryland.