Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana: Minnesota DWI Laws You Should Know
While medical marijuana is a legal substance in Minnesota, driving while under the influence of this drug is not legal. A person can receive a driving while impaired charge if he or she drives under the influence of marijuana or another controlled substance that can impact his or her brain, muscles, or nervous system. Avoid receiving a Minnesota DWI charge by understanding the state’s drugged driving laws.
If you’ve been charged with a DWI Minnesota, contact our criminal defense lawyers today to discuss the details of your case over a free consultation.
How Does Minnesota Define Drugged Driving?
In the state of Minnesota, you are driving under the influence if you do not possess clear control and intellect that you normally would if you did not have drugs in your system. You can receive a drug DWI conviction if you drive, operate, or are in the physical control of a motor vehicle under any of the following conditions.
- You are under the influence of a controlled substance, such as marijuana or any other drug.
- You have any amount of a schedule I or II controlled substance inside your body, except for marijuana. These substances include illegal drugs such as heroin, LSD, ecstasy, methadone, codeine, methamphetamine, or cocaine.
- You are driving while knowingly under the influence of a hazardous substance that impacts your body and can impair your driving ability. These hazardous substances can include many household products that produce a high when inhaled, such as compressed gas, paint thinners, and aerosol sprays.
Consequences of Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Minnesota
If a police officer catches you driving under the influence of marijuana in Minnesota, you can receive the same charges for a DWI as you would for drunk driving. The state will serve penalties based on the number of DWI offenses you have on your record, with the severity increasing with repeated offenses.
- For a first offense DWI, the state considers it a misdemeanor. You can receive up to 90 days in jail, a fine up to $1,000, and up to 180 days of license suspension.
- For a second offense DWI, you could receive a minimum prison sentence of 30 days with 48 hours in a local correctional facility or community work service. You could also receive up to 1 year of a license suspension.
- Third offense DWIs will see a minimum of 90 days in prison, with 30 days in a local correctional facility, or participation in an intense supervision probation program plus six consecutive days in a local correctional facility. You could also receive a license suspension for up to 2 years.
- Fourth offense DWIs will receive a minimum of 180 days in prison, with 30 days in a local correctional facility. Instead of incarceration, you may also participate in a probation program with six consecutive days in a correctional facility or a staggered sentencing program, with 180 days of incarceration and 30 days in a local correctional facility. You could also receive an indefinite license revocation.
- For a fifth DWI offense and subsequent offenses, you could either receive a minimum of one year in jail with 60 days in a local correctional facility, mandatory participation in a probation program with 6 days in a local correctional facility, or staggered sentencing up to one year with 60 days in a local correctional facility. You could also receive an indefinite license revocation.
Additional Charges for Marijuana Possession
In addition to receiving a DWI charge for driving under the influence of marijuana, you can also receive charges for marijuana possession. Unless you are a medical patient and you had cannabis pills on you, you could face the following consequences for marijuana possession.
- Less than 42.5 grams: Up to $200 in fines plus mandatory drug education classes
- 5 grams to 10 kilograms: 5th-degree felony charges, up to 5 years in prison, and up to $10,000 in fines
- Over 10 kilograms: 3rd-degree felony charges, up to 5 years in prison, and up to $250,000 in fines
If you are facing charges for driving while under the influence of marijuana, contact a Mankato DWI attorney as soon as possible.