With an increasing wave of legalized recreational and medical marijuana, it is important to know about the laws that surround driving while under the influence of drugs. To help inform you about drugged driving, here are some answers to common questions:
What is the legal limit for drug intoxication while driving?
Unlike drunk driving, Missouri does not have a quantified limit on intoxication by drugs while driving. Instead, law enforcement will act to prove that a driver was under the influence of drugs to such a degree that it was impairing their ability to drive. They use field test results, blood test results, and physical signs of impairment like slurred speech to prove any intoxicated driving.
Can officers use a urine test instead of a blood test?
A urine test is a non-invasive method of collecting a sample from an alleged drugged driver. It can show a correlation between impairment, drug use, and what drugs a driver was using. While these tests offer a lot of data from the results, they can only show any past use of drugs and not any current intoxication, making them uncommon in roadside drug testing.
How bad are the consequences of a first offense?
Even if you receive a conviction for a first offense for drugged driving, the consequences can be rather severe. A Class B misdemeanor first offense can result in up to six months imprisonment, a traffic offender program attendance, and up to a month of license suspension.
Does pleading guilty to my charges reduce my sentencing?
While a plea deal may be able to offer some benefit in your defense case, it should not be the first option you pursue, especially without representation. Let a lawyer act on your behalf to explore possible methods of overcoming your charges, such as proving police error or misconduct. Your lawyer will also help you determine if a plea deal is necessary and help you negotiate for the best possible outcome in your agreement.
Avoid these situations whenever possible
It is better never to know the answers to these questions than to worry about the consequences of a drugged driving conviction. Instead of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, call a friend, family member or rideshare service to help you get home safely. The less time you spend behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the better.