In Minnesota, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of either:
- Any controlled substance that obstructs motor skills.
The first is called drunk driving and can result in a DWI charge. The second is known as Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, or Drugged Driving, and can also lead to a Minnesota DWI offense.
Common Controlled Substances
Controlled substances can be both illegal and prescription drugs. Common controlled substances include:
- Prescription muscle relaxers
- Sleeping pills
Drugged Driving is harder to prove that Drunk Driving because it is difficult to determine the actual presence of a controlled substance in a person’s body at the time of driving. Alcohol leaves the body quickly after ingestion, making it easy to determine how drunk a person was when driving. Many controlled substances, however, stay in a person’s system for days or weeks after consumption, making it tough for officers to figure out an offender’s level of impairment while driving.
As a result, many jurisdictions employ Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) to help determine if a person is intoxicated with a controlled substance. These DREs are police officers trained to recognize certain bodily and behavioral cues that indicate impairment.
Minnesota Drugged Driving Lawyer
Minnesota also has a “per se” law, which makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with any amount of certain controlled substances in the body. The substances included in this no-leniency law are listed in Schedules I and II of the Minnesota DWI Legislature.
Drugged Driving is a serious offense in Minnesota that has serious consequences. Speaking with a criminal defense attorney who knows the legal system inside and out is essential.