Skip to content

Delaware Drugged Driving Laws

The geographic position of the state of Delaware has not been a benefit in the fight on drugs. The state is bordered on one side by Pennsylvania, on two sides by Maryland and on its most eastern border by New Jersey. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Maryland are two of the more active drug hubs in the northeastern United States. In a 2002 study done by the U.S. Department of Justice, it was suggested that a majority of the drugs that are found in Delaware originate in Philadelphia and then find their way into the tiny state. This presents a huge task for the law enforcement officials in Delaware who are fighting a drug battle on at least two fronts.

Drug DUI crimes in Delaware can consist of prescription medication or illegal narcotics. Some of the more commonly abused prescription medications include:

That same 2002 report identified marijuana as the most accessible and least expensive drug in Delaware, but it was specific in calling heroin the drug that poses the largest threat to the future of the state of Delaware. Since that report, the state has taken several measures to try and reduce the flow of drugs in from outside the area. There has been a huge tactical increase in resources being used by the DEA and the state of Delaware to try and stem the flow of illegal and prescription drugs into the state.

Other Drugs People Drive High On

Some of the other illegal narcotics that pose real threats to Delaware include cocaine and methamphetamine. More people are familiar with the term crystal meth than they are with methamphetamines, but the threat is the same and it is very real. The state of Delaware has created a series of new laws that are designed to discourage the use of illegal drugs and the unwarranted abuse of prescription medication. The laws are strict and they apply strongly to people who are charged with drug DUI in Delaware.

In Delaware, the DUI limit for alcohol is .08 percent, but the law states that you can be arrested for impaired driving with an alcohol level as low as .05 percent. When it comes to drugs in your system with a DUI stop, there is almost no tolerance. You will be given a test to determine what kinds of drugs you are on when you are stopped for reckless driving. The law does not discriminate between prescription drugs and illegal narcotics. If a police officer deems it necessary to pull you over because your reckless driving and your test comes back to show that you have a narcotic in your system, then you are going to be punished with DUI charges.

Prescription Drugs & DUI

Some people wonder if this kind of a law is fair to people who are on prescription pain killers or other prescription narcotics and utilize those narcotics responsibly. When you get a prescription narcotic, there is a warning label on the side that tells you to not drive a vehicle under the influence of your medication until you completely understand the effects the medication can have. If you know that you cannot drive while on your medication, then you should not drive. In the state of Delaware, even responsible use of prescription medication can lead to a drug DUI charge.

Implied Consent in Delaware

What if you decide to try and cheat the system by not taking the chemical test that can show that you are driving while impaired? In the state of Delaware, there is something called “implied consent.” This means that when you decide to drive on the public roads of Delaware, you are consenting to any chemical test that the state law enforcement authorities may deem necessary. The consent to administer the test is implied when you take to the roads. If you refuse the test, then you face losing your license for at least a year on a first offense. If you persist on driving under the influence of a drug and not consenting to a test, then you will lose your license for longer periods of time and the state can also choose to tack on more charges to your DUI charge.

Any drug DUI charge in the state of Delaware remains on your legal record for five years. That means that you could be treated as a repeat offender if you get charged with another drug DUI while the first one is still on your record. Five years is a very long time and, unless you decide to get help for your drug issue, you could find yourself without a driver’s license and in jail. You have to ask yourself if it is at all worth it to drive while under the influence of drugs in the state of Delaware.

Defending Your Charges with an Attorney

The process for punishment for a drug DUI charge in Delaware is very automatic. The zero tolerance aspect of drug punishments in the state sets off a series of events that you will not be able to avoid. But the series of events is complicated and failure to follow the proper sequence could mean more trouble for you. The best approach is to hire an experienced attorney immediately after you have been arrested for a drug DUI charge. While the attorney may not be able to navigate the legal system and get your sentence reduced, a good attorney will know the steps that you will need to take to make sure that you eventually do get your license back and help you to avoid escalating legal problems.