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.