Driving Under the Influence of Drugs: Explained
It is common knowledge that drinking and driving is illegal, but not everyone is as familiar with what happens when a driver is under the influence of drugs. Whether you were caught swerving in-between lanes, failing to follow traffic laws, or driving too slowly, here's how Missouri handles driving under the influence of drugs.
Missouri’s Drugged Driving Laws
A driver can be found guilty of a DUI if they operate a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition — whether under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance (regulated by the government) or drug, or a combination of these.
Missouri law enforcement officials are entitled to conduct sobriety checkpoints to ensure that drivers are not driving under the influence. If a driver is found guilty of driving under the influence of drugs, they will be charged with a DUID.
The Initial Arrest
Once pulled over, you may be charged with DUID if a breath, blood, saliva, or urine test shows that you're under the influence of drugs. Missouri implied consent law states that when operating a motor vehicle, you automatically consent to a test if you're arrested and the police officer has reasonable grounds to believe you're driving under the influence, or if you're involved in a major auto accident.
No Refusal Zones
No Refusal Zones were created to combat the common practice of drivers refusing field sobriety tests, police and prosecutors gaining less evidence, and defense attorneys aggressively fighting their client’s rights. A Missouri police officer can obtain a search warrant for a blood alcohol test in a No Refusal Zone almost automatically after a driver refuses a breathalyzer. The difference in procedure here is how quickly a cop can expedite their request to draw blood.
If you refuse to take a test after a police officer requests it, you can be legally forced to do so through a warrant. Refusing to take a test has immediate consequences such as license revocation. When it comes to DUIDs and DWIs, refusing a test is never an easy solution.
Unlike alcohol, there are no ready-made tests to detect a certain amount of drugs within a person’s system. If a police officer decides you are guilty of impaired driving, it’s likely to be their word over yours, regardless of the circumstances. In Missouri, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) is a crime punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
Which Drugs Are Illegal Under a DUID?
Because every drug is different and affects each person in a unique way, Missouri law doesn't have any specific DUID threshold. Any type of drug, whether over-the-counter, prescription, or illegal, can have the type of effects that lead to a DUID charge as long as it impairs your driving abilities.
Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
While the legality of marijuana in Missouri is mixed, the legal stance on driving under the influence is not. The use of medical marijuana is legal under Missouri’s state constitution, which means that a patient could qualify for a prescription with their physician’s approval.
Adult-use, or recreational use, of marijuana, is illegal in Missouri. Therefore, a person could be convicted for possession if they are found without a prescription, or with marijuana in their possession at the time of the arrest.
Hiring a Missouri DWI Attorney
If you were arrested for a drugged DUI, it is important to work with an experienced Springfield DWI and drugs attorney who can fight for you. Our team at Cole & Martin Attorneys at Law, LLC will investigate your case and fight for the best outcome.
Call our team today at (417) 213-5441 or contact us online to book your consultation.