It is illegal to drive while impaired by any drug or combination of drugs. This includes prescription drugs such as painkillers such as oxycodone or anti anxiety medications like Valium. It is important to know that having a valid prescription is not a legal defense to a driving while impaired by drugs. Someone who is arrested for driving while impaired by a narcotic painkiller such as Percocet cannot have their lawyer argue that he or she has a valid prescription due to severe pain. The only way for a criminal lawyer to use the prescription drug defense is by proving that the defendant was unaware that the drug or combination of drugs would make the defendant incapable of driving safely. This is often a difficult defense to rely upon because most drugs are required to have detailed warning labels. The unknowing defense in DWI drug cases is more successful when a defendant is prescribed a combination of drugs. It is also illegal under state law to drive while impaired by any controlled dangerous substance such as cocaine, heroin, or marijuana.
If a police officer suspects that you are driving while impaired by drugs or a controlled substance he or she may request that you submit to a field sobriety test, and also a chemical test to determine the drug concentration in your blood. While far less common than the breathalyzer test to determine blood alcohol content in DUI cases, officers still have the ability to request that you submit to a blood or urine test for drugs. A driver is never required to submit to a blood test unless the driver was involved in an accident that resulted in serious injury or death. State law does not currently have a set blood marijuana legal limit but if medical marijuana is legalized, the legislature may explore this option. Failure to submit to a test for drug concentration may result in a 120 day driver license suspension under the state implied consent law for a first refusal, and 1 year for a second refusal. Your are entitled to request a hearing to challenge your driver license suspension with the office of administrative hearings within 10 days of your arrest. For further information about DWI drug laws or to begin fighting your case today contact an experienced Maryland DUI lawyer for a free consultation. The Herbst Firm's aggressive lawyers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.