You may be surprised to learn that some DUI laws in Pennsylvania specifically target innocent people. Yes, even if you haven’t had a sip of alcohol or abused any illicit drugs, you can still be arrested for DUI and charged with a DUI equivalent to those with “Highest Rate” blood alcohol levels. Even for a “first offender” this can mean up to six months in prison, $5,000 in fines and a full, 12-month, license suspension.
Welcome to the upside down world of DUI-prescription drugs.
Under Pennsylvania’s DUI- prescription drug laws, you can be arrested and even convicted of a DUI for taking certain common medications which include pain killers, allergy medications and even certain types of cough syrup. The government can even try to prosecute you even if you are taking them while following a valid prescription. The problem arises from very poorly designed laws and under-trained police officers enforcing them.
The way the laws are designed in Pennsylvania, the only evidence required is an officer’s opinion that you are impaired by the lawfully prescribed drugs you are taking on doctor’s orders. Police officers themselves are not trained in physiology, pharmacology or drug interactions. Instead all they look for are certain common symptoms like features of the eyes and slurred speech. Sometimes, it may be more complicated than that in that the use a 12-step DRE process that has never been truly validated scientifically. For example, a person suffering from allergies and taking medication for it may have water eyes and swelling in the throat and nose that may make their speech sound awkward. This is all that is needed to make an arrest.
The number of innocent people arrested and charged with DUI-prescription drugs is mounting by the day. Unfortunately, many of these innocent people are convicted or plead to lesser charges for a crime they did not commit.
This is why it is important to get the best legal help available when dealing with complex cases like DUI prescription drugs. The attorneys at The McShane Firm are highly trained in the scientific and medical aspects of these cases and have the experience needed to protect your rights. Please call 1-866-MCSHANE for a free consultation.