When people think of driving while under the influence, the first thing to come to mind is usually alcohol. While alcohol is still the most common intoxicant in intoxicated driving cases, these is a rising trend that is causing lots of people large amounts of concern: driving while drugged.
Even though alcohol itself is also a drug, driving while under the influence of other controlled substances (DUID) can also lead to accidents, severe legal and civil penalties, even if the drugs are legal. As drug use in general continues to increase, it is good to know about the possible impacts of drug use on driving and the potential consequences.
Although the specific laws regarding driving while under the influence in Ohio are largely based on the presence of intoxicants, the real issue they are trying to address is impairment. Some drugs are more potent than others, which means some cases of impairment are more extreme, but most drugs can result in impairing a driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, it is illegal for a person to operate a vehicle if the “person is under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them.” The Code goes on the list specific amounts of particular drugs that are illegal. Some Illegal substances include,
It is also important to note that a person can be charged and convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) if they were impaired by medication, even if the medication was prescribed for them by their doctor.
Driving while under the influence of drugs is treated just like a regular DUI with alcohol. A DUI conviction will result in a combination of criminal penalties, like jail time, and civil penalties, fines and license suspension.
· First offense
o A fine of $375 to $1,075
o A minimum of 3 days in jail, or a driver intervention program
o Driver’s license suspended for 6 months to 3 years
· Second offense
o A fine of $500 to $1,625
o A minimum of 10 days in jail
o Driver’s license suspended for 1 to 5 years
· Third offense
o A fine of $850 to $2,750
o A minimum of 30 days in jail
o Driver’s license suspended for 2 to 10 years
Driving a vehicle is a risky activity. Mistakes could result in the damage of property and the loss of life. Being impaired only increases the chances of mistakes being made and impaired driving should be taken very seriously.
A DUI conviction of any kind can seriously impact the remainder of a person’s life, even if they do not cause an accident. If you are facing a DUI charge, it is highly recommended that you seek about the assistance of an experienced legal professional.