Under Pennsylvania’s DUI laws, it is unlawful for anyone to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance. Controlled substances include not only drugs that were obtained illegally but also medications that were lawfully prescribed by a physician. In other words, simply because a motorist’s use of a controlled substance is lawful does not mean that they cannot be found guilty of DUI while driving under the influence of that substance. This was clarified in a recent Pennsylvania opinion issued in a case in which the court rejected the defendant’s argument that medical marijuana differed from marijuana in that it was not a controlled substance. If you are accused of a DUI offense, it is in your best interest to speak to a Pennsylvania DUI defense attorney about your possible defenses.
The Facts of the Case
It is alleged that an officer observed the defendant driving erratically. As such, the officer pulled the defendant over and began to question him. The defendant submitted to field tests which indicated to the officer that the defendant was under the influence of a controlled substance. As such, the officer arrested the defendant for suspicion of DUI.
Reportedly, a subsequent blood test indicated that the defendant had marijuana compounds and the metabolites of such compounds in his system. He was charged with driving while under the influence of a controlled substance and, following a trial, was found guilty as charged. He appealed, arguing that medical marijuana was not a controlled substance. Continue reading