Drugged Driving in Minnesota

Car accident

Driving under the influence of drugs and marijuana in Minnesota

In Minnesota, you can get a DWI for driving under the influence of alcohol. But do the same laws apply to driving under the influence of drugs or marijuana?

A driver violates a DWI statute if they drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs. Under Minnesota’s DWI law, Minn. Stat. §169A.20, it is a crime to drive, operate, or be in physical control of a motor vehicle anywhere within the state, or upon the ice of any boundary water under any of the following conditions:

A person is under the influence:

1. When the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08% (one-eighth of 1%) or more—the “per se” limit—or when the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08% or more within two hours of the time of driving,operating, or being in physical control of the motor vehicle;

2. When the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.04% or more at the time, or within two hours of the time, of driving, operating, or being in physical control of a commercial motor vehicle;

3. When the person is knowingly under the influence of a hazardous substance that affects the nervous system, brain, or muscles of the person so as to substantially impair the person’s ability to drive or operate the motor vehicle; or

4. When the person’s body contains any amount of a controlled substance listed in schedule I or II other than marijuana.

Drugs (except marijuana) are “per se” (zero tolerance) illegal in Minnesota. This means it is illegal to have any amount of a schedule I or II drug or its metabolite in the body while operating a motor vehicle. However, for marijuana, mere presence in the body while driving is not in itself a crime. The State also has to prove the driver was “impaired.”

Minnesota also extends its implied consent laws (i.e., to provide a specimen if requested by law enforcement) to drugged driving. In addition, the state provides criminal penalties for a refusal to take a test under the implied consent law.

If you get pulled over and charged with drugged driving, you need an experienced lawyer. Call Martine Law for a free consultation at (612) 208-8076.

Author Bio

Xavier Martine

Xavier Martine is the Founder of Martine Law, a Minnesota criminal defense and family law firm. Serving clients in Minneapolis, MN, and surrounding areas, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of criminal matters, including DWIs, drug charges, misdemeanors, domestic violence, and other criminal charges. He also represents clients in family law matters, including divorce, child support, and child custody.

Xavier received his Juris Doctor from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law and is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being named among the “Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys Under 40 in Minnesota” in 2021 by The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. He was also named the “Best DUI Lawyer in Minneapolis” award in 2023 by Expertise.com and a “Rising Star” in 2023 by SuperLawyers.

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