Driving High Attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, driving after consuming illicit or prescription drugs (yes, even medical marijuana) is penalized just as harshly as driving while intoxicated by alcohol. If someone gets caught driving high and is convicted for drugged driving, the consequences can be dire.  

After a conviction, you may face jail time, hefty fines, and a lengthy suspension of your driver’s license, not to mention that any DUI conviction remains on your record for the rest of your life and may negatively impact your employment and housing opportunities, among other things.  

As a driving high attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I know that the stakes can be incredibly high when facing charges in connection with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or with any amount of certain substances in your system. At Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C., I strive to fight for the best possible outcomes for my clients, which may include getting the charges dismissed or advocating for lenient sentencing terms.  

From my office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I serve clients throughout Allegheny County and surrounding counties. I understand that right now, you need answers to questions more than anything else. That’s why I offer free consultations, so you don’t have to worry about making any financial commitments during this time of uncertainty.  

Pennsylvania Laws on Driving High

Pennsylvania’s drugged driving laws make it illegal to drive with a drug in your body that exceeds a specified limit. However, some drugs have no limits whatsoever. This is known as the zero-tolerance policy and it prohibits operating a motor vehicle with any measurable amount of specified drugs, including medical marijuana.  

Under 75 Pa. C.S.A. § 3802, it is a crime to drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle if any measurable amount of the following drugs is found in your system:  

  • Schedule I drugs (marijuana, heroin, ecstasy, etc.); or 

  • Schedule II or III drugs which have not been medically prescribed for you; or 

  • Metabolites of Schedule I drugs or metabolites of Schedule II or III drugs which have not been medically prescribed for you.  

The law also makes it illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of a single drug, a combination of drugs, or a combination of a drug and alcohol if the person’s ability to drive safely is impaired. This includes driving under the influence of a noxious or solvent substance (acetone, acetate, ethyl alcohol, benzene, and others). 

Obtain a Solid Defense


Common Substances Associated With High Driving 

Many people are surprised to learn that you can face charges for driving high even if you didn’t consume illegal drugs. That's because Pennsylvania's drugged driving laws cover not only illicit drugs, but also prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. Common examples of such substances include but are not limited to:  

  • Cannabis and medical marijuana 

  • Opioid medications 

  • Over-the-counter medications such as cold medicine, cough syrup, and allergy medications 

  • Sleep medications 

  • Anxiety medications 

  • Antidepressants 

When you are accused of driving high, the prosecution has the burden to prove that you had any measurable amount of a drug or that your ability to operate a vehicle was impaired. If it’s the latter, the prosecution will not be required to prove that any substance was present in your system at the time of the offense.  

To confirm that you had any detectable amount of a substance in your system, you will have to submit to testing such as a blood or urine test. Since Pennsylvania is an implied consent law, refusal to take these tests is considered a separate criminal offense and can result in harsh penalties.  

Defenses to Drugged Driving Charges in Pennsylvania

Every case is unique, which is why the defenses that work for some defendants in drugged driving cases may not work for others. That’s why I – as a Pittsburgh driving high attorney – always conduct a detailed review of the facts in my client’s case before advising them on any defense options. In the past, I’ve had success with employing the following defense strategies:  

  • There was a lack of probable cause to stop of the vehicle 

  • The police failed to follow proper arrest procedures 

  • The client was not driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle 

  • The client was subject to an improper search and seizure 

  • The results of the blood test are inaccurate 

  • The results of field sobriety testing are unreliable 

At Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C., I have fought and won numerous DUI cases, including those where the defendant was accused of driving high, and I’m ready to put my nearly 20 years of experience to work for you. I serve clients throughout Allegheny County and surrounding counties, including Armstrong, Washington, Butler, Beaver, and Westmoreland.

Driving High Attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Drugged driving, like driving under the influence of alcohol, is always a serious offense that carries harsh penalties and profound ramifications. As a Pittsburgh driving high lawyer, I understand the gravity of drugged driving charges and am committed to advocating zealously on your behalf. Being represented might be your best chance of avoiding conviction or, at the very least, minimizing the potential negative consequences. Get in touch today to set up a free telephone consultation and start working on your defense.