When most people think of the typical DUI case in Pennsylvania, they tend to think of a driver who is under the influence of alcohol. They often picture a few beer cans strewn about the inside of the vehicle, and the smell of alcohol wafting through the window.
However, a person can just as easily be charged with Drug DUI charges for driving under the influence of cocaine. This kind of charge can lead to serious criminal penalties, including high fines and time in jail or prison.
What is cocaine?
Cocaine is an addictive stimulant drug. It is made from the leaves of the coca plant, which is native to South America. Recreational cocaine use is illegal, and lead to drug possession or even drug trafficking charges, depending on the circumstances of your case.
What does cocaine look like?
Cocaine typically looks like a fine, white, crystal powder. It is often mixed with other ingredients to increase profit, such as:
- talcum powder,
- creatine powder, and
It may also be mixed with other drugs to increase the stimulant or hallucinogenic effects, such as:
- fentanyl; and
Popular Street Names for Cocaine
Cocaine and drugs including cocaine are commonly given nicknames, such as:
- dust; and
Cocaine can be used in a variety of ways, but the most common way people consume cocaine is snorting it through the nose. Cocaine that has been processed into rock crystals ("crack") can be smoked and inhaled into the lungs.
Another common practice is to combine cocaine and heroin, and inject the substance into the body. This combination is commonly referred to as a "Speedball."
Effects of Cocaine on the Body
Cocaine works by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain. Cocaine prevents dopamine from being recycled, causing large amounts of this "feel good" hormone to accumulate in the brain. It can cause:
- giddiness or happiness;
- high and often uncontrollable energy;
- hypersensitivity to sight, sound, and touch;
- irritability; and
- paranoia (extreme and unreasonable distrust of others).
Other effects on the body include:
- constricted blood vessels,
- dilated pupils,
- fast or irregular heartbeat (tachycardia),
- high blood pressure,
- tremors, and
Effects of Cocaine on the Ability to Drive
When a person ingests cocaine and gets behind the wheel in Pennsylvania, the effects of the drug can lead to a Drug DUI charge in the state.
A person on cocaine may:
- overreact to external stimuli;
- become aggressive behind the wheel;
- be distracted while driving;
- engage in risk-taking behavior which could lead to an accident; or
- could overdose and die behind the wheel.
Cocaine use and intoxication while driving is illegal in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. With the help of an experienced DUI attorney by your side, you can defend your case.
Consult a Pennsylvania DUI Defense Attorney
A conviction for Drug DUI as the result of cocaine use can have a serious effect on your future. Remember, just because you are charged with a crime does not mean that you are guilty.