What is a Pennsylvania drug per se law?

A drug per se law specifies the prohibited amount of a given drug among drivers. These laws essentially define a “legal limit” for a given drug.

Pennsylvania’s per se drugged driving law prohibits driving after ingesting Schedule I and unprescribed Schedule II or Schedule III substances or their metabolites. 

The Pennsylvania per se drug law states that an individual may not operate a vehicle under the following circumstances:

  • There is any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance in their blood
  • There is an unprescribed Schedule II or III controlled substance in their blood
  • There is a metabolite of a Schedule I, II, or III substance
  • The individual is under the influence of a drug or combination of drugs that impairs their ability to operate a vehicle safely

To be arrested for a DUI charge, a police officer must first develop probable cause through physical impairment or clear signs of drug use, such as paraphernalia used to ingest the drug. If these criteria are met, the police officer will arrest the driver and will usually request a blood sample for lab testing.

This is not a seamless process. Many times, people are arrested unjustly for a police officer’s mistake or a lab’s incorrect test. Also, because different people metabolize and physically respond to drugs differently, their test may meet or exceed the per se limit without being impaired.

If you have been arrested or charged with a drug-related DUI offense, don’t give up your legal rights. Contact Steven Kellis today for a free case consultation and let our experienced drugged driving lawyers help you reduce or eliminate the penalties.