Police will be cracking down on Driving Under the Influence over the Fourth of July holiday with the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign continuing to run through July 6th. Additionally, the York Dispatch reports that DUI Sobriety Checkpoints and roving patrols are specifically scheduled for Adams, York, and Lancaster County.
DUI. Drunk Driving. Drugged Driving.
According to the York Daily Record, the Pennsylvania DUI Association is reminding drivers that they can also be arrested for unsafely operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, even prescribed or over-the-counter medications.
When most people think about Driving Under the Influence, drinking and driving immediately comes to mind. As such, when planning ahead, many people only consider ways to regulate alcohol consumption. However, people may fail to consider certain risks associated with drugged driving.
Recent use of illegal drugs could lead to DUI charges. Even if drugs were not used immediately prior to a traffic stop, their presence could unnecessarily result in a charge of driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
For example, if at the time of a stop for erratic driving, there is some odor of marijuana emanating from a person's clothes or some form of drug paraphernalia (like a pipe or a 'roach') in plain view, it could lead to a vehicle search. If some evidence of drug use is found (even certain medications that are lawfully prescribed) and there appears to be some evidence of impairment, the police may attempt to secure a blood test. A blood test resulting in a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) below the legal limit but also showing the presence of certain levels of drugs could result in a charge of Driving Under the Influence of a combination of drugs and/or alcohol to a degree which impairs an individual's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
If you have used illegal drugs or you are taking lawfully prescribed drugs, you need to be aware of the risks associated with driving, especially at a time where police are aggressively and proactively targeting impaired drivers. If you are taking a prescribed medication and uncertain of the risks associated with driving or mixing it with alcohol, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Don't Just Regulate. Designate.
There is a reason they say: "Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving." Because it is hard to really gauge when your BAC may rise above the legal limit.
For example, we all know people (maybe we've done it ourselves) who will try to monitor their BAC based upon the assumption that our body can process one alcoholic beverage per hour. However, the Huffington Post recently reported on a study that has suggested it may actually take about 2 hours to process one alcoholic drink.
Ultimately, there is only one safe way to avoid a DUI if you choose to celebrate your independence with a few cocktails: If you drink, don't drive.
Instead, plan ahead by designating a sober driver. Celebrate your freedom by not risking it.
Impaired Driving. Impaired Judgment.
There is a reason "drunk driving" is also referred to as "impaired driving": Because the more alcohol we drink, the more our judgment becomes impaired.
As a result, even when we begin a night of drinking with the best of plans or intentions, it does not always turn out the way we planned. When we make decisions at a time we are experiencing impaired judgment, the risks of being charged with DUI increase and may become a reality.
Don't Compound One Mistake With Another. Get Help from an Experienced Professional.
If a good time celebrating with friends takes a turn for the worst, there may still be time to get the train back on the tracks before it completely derails.
Mistakes happen, particularly when choices are made at a time when our judgment is impaired.
Don't follow up one mistake with another. You can control what you control. While you cannot change the fact that you may have been charged with DUI, you do control how you respond to it.
Respond and take back control of your life with the help of an experienced and professional PA DUI Defense Lawyer.
Contact Shawn Curry Law today.