Minimum Drug DUI Levels in Pennsylvania: Section 3802(d)(1) vs. Section 3802(d)(2)

In Pennsylvania it is a crime to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and section 3802(d) addresses a DUI charge involving schedule I, schedule II, or schedule III controlled substances along with any other drug or combination drug which could impair a person’s ability to safely drive or operate a car (or any vehicle) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Drug testingSection 3802(d)(1) requires that the prosecution introduce chemical evidence (blood test) which shows a schedule I, II, or III controlled substance in a person’s blood at the time of their arrest. There is no 2 hour rule regarding drugs unlike alcohol. A DUI based on alcohol under sections 3802(a) 2, 3802(b), 3802(c) all require that the prosecution establish a BAC level within two (2) hours after a person has driven or operated a vehicle.

Section 3802(d)(1) requires that the prosecution present evidence that a drug was in a person’s body at the time of their arrest. Under this section, however, the prosecution must present a minimum drug level for it to be admissible (used against you) in court. This drug level pertains to the actual drug or a metabolite of the drug. A metabolite is the result when a drug is metabolized by the body into a modified form which continues to produce effects in the body. These effects are similar to those of the parent drug which can, in some cases, actually be stronger than the parent drug. The prosecution must produce the following minimum levels:

  • Amphetamine (schedule II) – 10 nanograms
  • Methamphetamine (schedule II) – 10 nanograms
  • Methadone (schedule II) – 50 nanograms
  • Marijuana (THC) (schedule II) – 5 nanograms
  • Cocaine (schedule II) – 20 nanograms
  • Phenclidine (PCP) (schedule II) – 5 nanograms
  • Codeine (schedule II) – 10 nanograms
  • OxyCodone (schedule II) – 10 nanograms
  • Hydrocodone (schedule II) – 10 nanograms
  • Monoacetylmorphine (heroin) (schedule II) – 10 nanograms

Drug testing is a two-step process. The first step identifies the actual substance or its metabolite in the blood. The second step is much more complicated and it measures the concentration of the substance and its quantity. Even if the prosecution can’t establish a minimum amount of a drug or its metabolite it can still prosecute and convict a person under section 3802(d)(2).

This section doesn’t require the prosecution to introduce any specific drug level but only testimony that the person was unable to operate the vehicle safely on a city street or road within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The prosecution witness, usually a police officer, will testify that based on their experience the person was under the influence of a drug or a combination of drug and therefore unable to operate a (car) vehicle safely in Pennsylvania. If you have more questions about DUI in Pennsylvania pick up a copy of my book – 5 Ways to Fight and Win your Pennsylvania DUI case.

3 Comments
The constitution has been slowly taken from the very people it was designed to protect and we where all to busy working to pay the taxes that where used to do it . DUI is a serious problem but a problem we pay luxury tax on and one that was repealed because of want for its escape . If only in your own home .the fact that you WILL pay tomorrow for what was legal when you paid extreme amounts for it because it is all regulated and enforced by the same dictators that make it illegal not to be insured for the very fact you are now not allowed to defend yourself against because again, the same people decide the changes to you're constitutional natural born rights and through the hole thing no matter what ,it will take till it is no longer threatened by your need to be independent outside of the rule presiding over aforementioned acts . In case you have not noticed , by the law, the way it is now written now and will be changed tomorrow . the police now need not the court or jury of your? pears to convict you and your right for "standing "in defence is repealed by yet another act . The state will take the tax return for the fines you can't afford because the insurance you pay is so high on the land you will never own because the interest you pay on the lone for it is set and regulated by the people spending your money to make the fact of all of it possible . WAKE UP AND TAKE YOUR RIGHTS BACK OR FIGHT the ENEMY that is domestic and not the foren bad guy you have been paying to fight that caused the PTSD you are now not legally allowed treat with the overpriced meds you are being arrested for driving your gov. bailed out overpriced american car to go 30 mi. to get because your gov forced insurance wont pay the dr that lives within walking distance because only the rich free enterprising people you voted for are in charge of that and you have no guns , money , unity, or rights left to fight the shit anyway !!!! now ARE YOU READY or do you still think you have the ability or right to keep what you think you might have if allowed an opinion ????
by temessner May 11, 2019 at 08:10 PM
According to Your article and to that Evil law 3802/2. The harassing police officer can lie if he wants to and its his word against ours. And you can be unfairly arrested and prosecuted and pretty much have your life ruined?? Even without any evidence of drug use?? ZERO???? The whole idea of police is a criminal organization. Thats pure EVIL.
by tim popper February 25, 2019 at 07:52 PM
How do I sue the police and the DA for false arrest and prosecution and my stupid lawyer?
by Denise Kelly June 13, 2018 at 09:49 PM
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