Driving Under The Influence of Drugs in Maryland

Drugged Driving In Maryland

Though most people understand that it is illegal to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, many may not realize that it is similarly illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs or any other intoxicating substance.

In Maryland, the law says that any substance that could potentially impact a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle is considered a drug, whether it’s illegal or not. That means that even if you are taking a prescription medication you can still be found guilty of driving under the influence.

If a police officer in Maryland has a valid reason to stop your vehicle and then has probable cause to believe you might be operating your car under the influence, then he or she may call a  “drug recognition expert” (DRE). This is where things can get tricky. While Maryland has a bright line rule regarding alcohol consumption (0.08 percent limit for DUI), things are much less clear-cut when drugs are suspected.

In many cases, law enforcement officials will turn to blood or urine tests to try and identify intoxicating substances in your bloodstream. Because Maryland law does not stipulate exactly how much drugs can legally be present in a driver’s bloodstream, it is ultimately left up to the discretion of officers and district attorneys to decide whether you should be charged with driving under the influence.

Those who are charged with driving under the influence of drugs in Maryland face harsh penalties if convicted, just like anyone who is convicted of drunk driving. Fines, license suspension and even jail time are possible depending on the specific facts of your case.

Need help with a Maryland traffic ticket or drunk driving offense? Call me at 301-563-9575 or 1-877-566-2408 for a free consultation. I’m an experienced Maryland DUI and drunk driving lawyer and I’d be happy to help. I practice law throughout the entire State of Maryland.