According to a recent report from Tulsa World, drugged driving is becoming a significant problem for Oklahoma law enforcement tasked with patrolling the state’s roadways. Both prescription medications and controlled substances are to blame for causing safety concerns, because they impair a motorist’s driving capabilities. It’s likely that authorities will be increasing enforcement to apprehend those who violate drugged driving laws, so it’s important to speak with a lawyer if you’re charged.
Drugged Driving Defined:
Oklahoma law prohibits a motorist from driving while under the influence of any intoxicating substance, other than alcohol, that may impact his or her ability to operate a vehicle. Unlike laws covering DUI and DWI, there is no fixed level of the drug that must be present in your system in order to bring charges. A determination of the level of impairment is made on a case-by-case basis.
The focus of the Oklahoma law on drugged driving is on any controlled substance capable of being consumed, and which impacts the central nervous system, senses, or motor functions. The fact that a drug is legally subscribed is not a defense, because certain medications do impair a person’s ability to drive safely.
Penalties for Drugged Driving:
If convicted of drugged driving, your driving privileges may be revoked or suspended, depending upon your history of such offenses. Plus, drugged driving is a crime: You may also be sentenced to prison time and a fine by a criminal judge. A conviction for drugged driving is considered a prior offense if you’re involved in a DUI, DWI, or subsequent drugged driving case.
Keep in mind that a drugged driving offense may also lead to additional criminal charges for possession of a controlled substance if you’re carrying the drug at the time you’re charged. The legal consequences depend upon the controlled substance, but you could be facing up to five years in prison and a $5,000 for a first offense.
A convicted for drugged driving has serious consequences for your driving privileges, your wallet – and potentially your freedom if the sentence includes imprisonment. A lawyer with experience in defending these types of cases can help you navigate the criminal process and will protect your rights under Oklahoma law. Attorney Robert R. Robles has represented many clients in drugged and drunk driving cases, so please contact our Oklahoma City office at (405) 232-7980 for more information. We’re happy to schedule a consultation or answer questions about your case.