It is well-established that, under Pennsylvania law, it is unlawful to operate a vehicle while intoxicated. This means not only that people cannot drive if they are impaired due to the consumption of alcohol but also that they can be accused of DUI crimes if they operate a car while under the influence of metabolites or controlled substances. Recently, a Pennsylvania court issued a ruling discussing the evidence the Commonwealth must introduce to support a conviction for a DUI controlled substance. If you are charged with driving while under the influence of prescription or illicit drugs, it is advisable to contact a Pennsylvania DUI defense attorney to discuss your case.
The Defendant’s Arrest
It is alleged that the investigating officer responded to a call reporting that a man was unconscious inside an SUV. When he arrived at the scene, the officer observed the defendant sleeping in the driver’s seat of the SUV, which was parked by an intersection. The keys were in the ignition, and the vehicle was running. The officer awoke the defendant and asked him a series of questions. The defendant was unable to spell or write his name, was drooling, and his speech was slurred.
It is reported that the defendant agreed to submit to field sobriety testing, and the test results indicated he was impaired. He consented to a blood test, the result of which indicated the presence of numerous controlled substances. The Commonwealth charged him with DUI controlled substance and convicted him following a bench trial. He then appealed. Continue reading