Driving while under the influence of drugs is surprisingly common, even though it is illegal in every state. Surprisingly, some drivers say they don’t know that driving on certain drugs is dangerous, but it can be. Just as important, you can be charged with DUI for driving under the influence of drugs — and you may also be charged with drug possession.

The fact is driving under the influence of drugs is illegal — even for valid medical marijuana users.

How do different drugs impair you?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), many kinds of drugs can impair you, including some over-the-counter medications. You should always be certain how a drug affects you before driving while using it.

Depressants, such as alcohol, marijuana and benzodiazepines, slow your coordination and reaction times and affect your judgment

Stimulants, including cocaine and methamphetamines, can affect your judgment and make you more aggressive, or even reckless, behind the wheel

Inhalants can cause you to black out while driving and can affect your coordination and judgment

Hallucinogens can cause you to become out of touch with reality, making for extremely dangerous driving conditions

Painkillers, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, can cause different reactions in different people, but may cause you to become drowsy or uncoordinated. The effect can be worse with alcohol

Dissociative anesthetics, such as Ketamine or PCP, can cause space and time distortions, distractibility, disorientation and negative effects on your motor coordination

What is the most common drug drivers use?

Besides alcohol, the most commonly used drug among drivers who were tested after suffering fatal injuries was marijuana at 38%, according to NHTSA. The second-most common was the use of more than one drug (37%), stimulants (31%), depressants (29%), and narcotic painkillers (28%), followed by dissociative anesthetics (2%), hallucinogens (1%) and inhalants (1%).

Arrested for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID)?

It’s a serious charge in Pennsylvania. A DUID charge places you at the top of Pennsylvania’s three-tier system and puts you in line for penalties of up to six months in jail and up to a $5,000 fine on your first offense. You can’t afford to plead guilty to DUID. Hire an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible after your charge.