Drugged driving is a serious problem in Cleveland and across the country. It’s a crime that puts innocent people’s lives at risk, and it’s important for drivers to understand the laws, risks, and consequences associated with it.
In this blog post, we’ll explore what you need to know about drugged driving in Cleveland and the possible punishments that can come with it. We’ll also discuss how you can protect yourself from being involved in an accident related to drugged driving. Read on to learn more.
What Is Drugged Driving?
Drugged driving, or driving under the influence of drugs, is the act of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs. This includes drugs, both illegal and prescription drugs, and alcohol.
Drugged driving is similar to drunk driving in that it can lead to reckless and unsafe behavior on the road. However, while most people are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, many do not realize that drugged driving can also be dangerous and illegal.
When people drive under the influence of drugs, their mental and physical abilities can be impaired. This can cause them to make poor decisions, leading to dangerous driving conditions. Drugs can also have unpredictable effects on the body and mind, meaning that even if you think you’re in control, you may not be. This can be particularly dangerous if you are driving in an unfamiliar area.
Drugs also have different effects on people depending on their body chemistry, so even if you’ve taken a drug before without issue, it may affect you differently this time. All these factors combined mean that there is no safe level of drugged driving; any amount of drug use while driving can be dangerous.
The Two Types of Drugged Driving Charges
Ohio recognizes two distinct types of drug-related OVI charges: “impaired” and “per se.” The OVI impaired charge implies that the drug noticeably impaired the driver’s actions, reactions, or mental processes. On the other hand, the OVI per se charge implies that the driver is guilty simply for having enough of the drug in their system.
If a driver refuses a blood or urine test, they can only be charged with OVI impairment. If a driver takes either test and the result puts them over the allowed limit for the specific drug, they can be charged with both OVI impaired and OVI per se.
The consequences for drugged driving vary depending on the drug involved and the driver’s prior record. It is possible for a person who has been charged with OVI impaired or per se to face both criminal and administrative penalties, including fines, jail time, license suspension, and/or substance abuse counseling. Ohioans need to understand the serious consequences of drugged driving and the importance of abstaining from drugs if they plan on operating a vehicle.
Prohibited Drug Levels in Ohio
In Ohio, the legal limit for alcohol is .08%. However, when it comes to driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), the allowable amounts of drugs or drug metabolites can vary greatly depending on the drug type and the test type conducted.
Below are the per se DUID limits for specific drugs:
- Amphetamine: 100 nanograms per milliliter of blood or 500 nanograms per milliliter of urine
- Cocaine: 50 nanograms per milliliter of blood or 150 nanograms per milliliter of urine
- Heroin: 50 nanograms per milliliter of blood or 2,000 nanograms per milliliter of urine
- LSD: 10 nanograms per milliliter of blood or 25 nanograms per milliliter of urine
- Marijuana: 2 nanograms per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms per milliliter of urine
- Methamphetamine: 100 nanograms per milliliter of blood or 500 nanograms per milliliter of urine
You may be charged with a drugged driving crime if any of these drugs are found in your system above the stated amount. Knowing the law in Ohio is important to avoid being charged with a crime.
The Penalties for Drugged Driving
Driving while under the influence of drugs is a serious crime in Ohio and can lead to hefty fines, license suspension or revocation, jail time, and/or court-mandated drug education programs.
The penalties for a drugged driving offense in Ohio depend on the amount of drugs present in your system and the severity of the offense. First-time offenders may be charged with a minor misdemeanor, which carries a $150 fine and no jail time. However, those with prior convictions or high levels of drugs in their system may be charged with more severe offenses.
The most serious offense is a felony of the fourth degree, which is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and fines of up to $5,000. In addition, an offender may be required to participate in a drug education program or be subject to treatment by a certified substance abuse program.
Another important factor that will determine the severity of the penalty is if anyone was injured or killed as a result of the drugged driving. If this is the case, harsher penalties will be imposed, including potential jail time and significantly higher fines.
It is also important to note that Ohio has a zero-tolerance policy for drugged driving – any amount of drugs detected in your system could result in penalties. For this reason, it is important to know the laws and risks associated with driving while impaired before getting behind the wheel.
How to Protect Yourself From Drugged Driving
It is essential to take all necessary steps to avoid drugged driving in Cleveland. The following are a few tips to keep yourself and others safe:
- Never get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This includes prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs.
- If you plan to take medication, make sure you have a designated driver who can take you home safely.
- If you’re feeling too impaired to drive, don’t do it. Have a friend drive you home or call a taxi or ridesharing service.
- If you are taking prescription medications, talk to your doctor about potential side effects and how they might affect your driving.
- Avoid riding with someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Refuse to drive if a passenger is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and report the driver to law enforcement if necessary.
- If you’re hosting a party, provide non-alcoholic drinks and snacks to guests, and make sure no one leaves intoxicated.
Following these tips can help keep yourself and others safe from the dangers of drugged driving in Cleveland.
The Resources Available to Help
If you or someone you know has been charged with a drugged driving crime in Cleveland, there are many resources available to help. The following organizations can provide advice and assistance to those facing these charges:
- The Ohio Department of Public Safety – This state-run agency can provide information about drugged driving laws and the legal process involved in prosecuting these cases.
- Cleveland Drug Treatment Centers – These facilities offer programs to help people with addiction get the help they need to recover from substance abuse.
These resources are available to those facing drugged driving charges in Cleveland. Knowing where to turn for help can make all the difference when dealing with the legal repercussions of a drugged driving offense.
If you’ve been charged with drugged driving, contact our Cleveland criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation.