Fighting “Drugged Driving” Charges In Minnesota
In order to keep our roads safe for all, Minnesota law prohibits driving while impaired (DWI). While the term “DWI” is most commonly associated with driving after having consumed alcohol, the law also prohibits driving while under the influence of a controlled or hazardous substance. This is commonly referred to as “drugged driving.”
Bird, Stevens & Borgen, P.C., has extensive experience defending drivers in Minnesota against DWI charges. We know how the prosecution will build its case and which strategies to employ in order to protect our client’s rights and freedom. If you are facing criminal penalties for driving under the influence of drugs, contact our firm. We can tell you how the law applies to your particular case and begin working on a defense.
What Is Drugged Driving?
Drugged driving is defined as being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled or hazardous substance.
Examples of controlled substances include:
- Pharmaceutical drugs, like OxyContin, Vicodin, codeine, morphine, methadone and fentanyl
- Illicit drugs, like heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, meth, ecstasy, ketamine, marijuana and hallucinogens
Examples of hazardous substances include inhalants, like spray paints and cleaning supplies.
What Are The Consequences Of Drugged Driving?
The criminal penalties for drugged driving are essentially the same as those for drunk driving. However, drivers could experience more severe punishments if aggravating factors are present, such as having:
- A prior DWI conviction
- A minor in the vehicle
- A blood alcohol content of .20% or higher
The penalties for a drug-related DWI conviction with no other aggravating factors involved are as follows under Minnesota law:
- First offense: Up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both
- Second or third offense (within 10 years): Up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $3,000 or both
- Fourth offense (within 10 years): Up to seven years in prison, a fine of up to $14,000 or both
These consequences, at their minimum, can severely impact a person’s life in the short term. At their maximum, they can ruin a person’s future.
Potential Defenses For Drug-Related DWI Charges
If you have been charged with a drug-related DWI, it is easy to resign yourself to hopelessness. However, there are a number of defense strategies that could reduce the consequences or even prevent you from being convicted. These include the following:
- The traffic stop was unlawful.
- The field sobriety or drug tests yielded inaccurate results.
- The police arrested you without probable cause.
Depending on your unique circumstances, there could be additional defense strategies available. To understand the full scope of your legal options, contact our firm to set up a free consultation.
We Protect Drivers Facing Drug-Related DWI Charges
Minnesota’s complex DWI laws are difficult to navigate without legal help. If you are facing drug-related DWI charges, hiring an experienced legal team gives you the best chance of escaping serious penalties. Bird, Stevens & Borgen, P.C., has been serving Minnesota drivers for more than 30 years, during which time our attorneys have established a track record of success in defending our clients from drug-related DWI charges.
Our firm is here to help you aggressively fight the charges you are facing. To begin working on your defense, call us at 507-218-2392 or fill out a contact form online. With offices in Rochester and Bloomington, our defense team is ready to help you get results.