Drug-Related DUIs Become Even More Common in Pennsylvania
The latest statistics show drug-related arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) continue to become more common throughout Pennsylvania. Now, many state law enforcement agencies are training their officers so that they can more easily recognize when a driver is impaired. Drug-related impairment can look considerably different than impairment associated with consuming alcohol.
According to recent information from national auto club AAA, approximately half of the 53,000 DUI arrests in Pennsylvania last year involved either drugs alone or a combination of drugs and alcohol. In fact, many of these cases involve the use of legal prescription drugs.
State law enforcement officials believe the problem is only going to become worse as the opioid epidemic continues its foothold on the region. Additionally, some officials are worried about the trends of states legalizing recreational marijuana and the negative effect it could have on traffic safety.
There are 172 drug recognition experts currently working in Pennsylvania. These professionals get called in to analyze drivers who are suspected to be impaired by substances other than alcohol.
Always check warning labels on prescription drugs
It’s somewhat common for people taking prescription drugs to get behind the wheel without knowing that those medications may cause impairment. Therefore, anyone taking a prescription drug should check the warning labels before operating a motor vehicle. Common examples of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that can cause impairment include antidepressants, valium, sleeping pills, antihistamines, decongestants and hydrocodone.
To learn more about how you can protect your rights if charged with a drug-related DUI offense, contact experienced Berks County criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman.