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Drugged Driving Arrests Increasing in Pennsylvania

Posted on February 28th, 2016
Drugged Driving DUI continue to increase according to last years statistics
 
The Governors Highway Safety Association is seeing the affect of the increased awareness about not drinking and driving.  Now the GHSA says that while Drinking and Driving has taken a steady yearly decrease, Drugged Driver is the highest it has ever been and growing every year, according to a dailyitem.com report.  
      In Pennsylvania the DUI law states that one, may not drive a vehicle if he has drank enough alcohol to 1) render him or her incapable of safely driving the vehicle, or 2) place his BAC above the .08% level.  The law also renders punishments that increase in severity depending on how high your blood alcohol content is. Also Pennsylvania has one of the strictest regulations regarding Controlled Substance DUI Drivers.  In Pennsylvania a driver can be found guilty of DUI under the Drug portion of the statute even if only a small amount of metabolite is present in the blood.  Metabolite is what remains in your body after it has processed the drugs.  Depending on the drug this metabolite remains in your blood and can be found with a blood test.  Using a drug like marijuana, generally people will not feel any side effects of the use 20 days later, but in PA the amount of metabolite required to be DUI is so low that a driver who smokes Marijuana on the 1st day of the month can be found guilty of DUI on the 30th day of the month, if the police have Probable Cause to draw your blood.
Approximately 4 out of 10 arrests are the result of Drugged Driving, according to the states 2014 data.  Many people with knowledge of the current climate blame the surge on drugged driving on the rising Heroien Epidemic and also the growing societal concern of prescription drug abuse.  The Governors Highway Safety Association attributed the increase to the increase of Marijuana availability and decriminalization.
Federally the Fatality Analysis Reporting System explained that Drugged Driving accounted for almost as many death nationally as Drunk Drivers.  In 2014, the state notched 52,636 DUI arrests — a decrease from the 54,121 arrests made in 2013.  At the same time, the number of DUI-drug arrests increased to 20,691 — nearly a 10 percent increase over the prior year.
Part of the increase can also be directly linked to Police receiving specialized training in the field of drugged driving detection.  Pennsylvania currently has over 50 DUI Task Forces across the state, and over 150 trained Drug Recognition Experts, trained and deployed to detect drunk and drugged drivers.  These experts helped and contributed to the 52,636 total DUI arrests in Pennsylvania last year.  A new class of 20 DRE experts starts next week at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy.
Have you been charged with Drunk Driving?  Call Ciccarelli Law today and rely on this Criminal Defense Law Firms Decades of criminal law experience in Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.  Reach us at (610) 692-8700.