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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Mixing of Drugs and Alcohol in a Philadelphia DUID Case

While drugs or alcohol alone can lead to a DUI charge, being under the influence of both can increase the probability of a serious charge even more. Below, a Philadelphia DUI drug lawyer discusses what charges you can face if under the influence of both drugs and alcohol and whether your penalties will increase if found to be influenced by both. To learn more, call and schedule a consultation today.

How Can A Mixture of Drugs and Alcohol Impact a DUI Case?

In Philadelphia, an alcohol above 0.08 or a combination of alcohol and/or narcotics or controlled substance in a person’s system is enough for the city of Philadelphia in commonwealth of Pennsylvania to prosecute a person for driving under the influence. A combination of drugs makes the 0.08 amount of alcohol irrelevant. If there’s 0.02 amount of alcohol and cocaine in a person’s system, the person is per se incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely in Philadelphia and will be prosecuted as such.

Are Penalties More Serious If You Are Under The Influence of Both Drugs and Alcohol?

In Pennsylvania and/or Philadelphia, the penalties are the same for DUI regardless of the amount of controlled substance in your system. For controlled substances, it is always treated as a tier three—the highest tier when it comes to sentencing and/or license suspension, as well as fines and cost. For alcohol related cases, the amount of alcohol determines the sentence. If your blood alcohol level is between 0.08 and 0.10, a certain lighter sentence can be imposed with the limited suspension.

If your blood alcohol level is between 0.10 and 0.16 a higher level of sentencing comes into play and the highest level which is also similar to all narcotics cases in alcohol cases, is blood alcohol content of 0.16% up to any amount which is a tier 3 highest amount. Therefore, all tier threes often have a bump in jail time, a bump in fines and certainly a large bump in license suspension.

Can A Prescription Drug Mixed With One Glass of Wine Still Get Someone In Trouble?

In Pennsylvania and/or Philadelphia, any amount of controlled substance that is over the amount prescribed can result in a driving under the influence conviction. Even a controlled substance that is taken properly by prescription, if alcohol is mixed with it, which there’s often a warning on the prescription model itself, it can have severe impacts on a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. The combination of both can often lead to a conviction regardless of amount.

However, an experienced Philadelphia DUI attorney can break down the elements involved in both prescription, nonprescription and alcohol related amounts of the person’s system and through the use of proper expert testimony, can prove to a court that a person was capable of driving safely. Therefore proper defense be made and in many cases, if done properly and acquittal can be won.

First Steps To Take If Charged For a Mixture of Drugs and Alcohol

These types of cases have to be challenged from the outset by an experienced Philadelphia DUI attorney. Certain examples include a person who may have had a drink of wine, however was taking a prescription drug that has an adverse effect with alcohol and is unaware of it. Under those circumstances, a person being behind a wheel can act erratically and act consistent with the person who is under the influence of some substance and certainly lead to a person not being able to drive properly.

It is imperative that a person who does not understand the mixing of either drugs and/or alcohol together understands that driving under the influence, whether intentionally or unintentionally with alcohol and/or drugs whether prescription or not, is still driving under the influence and still a serious crime.

Scenarios That Could Lead To Alcohol and Drug Mixtures

Scenarios where the mixing of drugs and alcohol occur include when a person isn’t feeling well or a person merely has an allergic reaction to something. In those type of cases, certain substances act in different fashions with an experienced Philadelphia DUI attorney on your side, arguments can be made that you’re not under the influence in a way that was intentional or in a way that should lead to a conviction for driving under the influence.

There are defenses available to individuals, however, they are limited. With the right defense on your side, a person can turn what an otherwise would have been a conviction into an acquittal, a person can save manner themselves from seeking jail time. In a lot of ways, a person can save their reputation and livelihood as such jobs can be lost in a single DUI conviction.