Marijuana DWI

Marijuana use in the United States is on the rise. The drug is so widely used users do not feel they’re breaking the law until they are in handcuffs. While the substance has been proven safer than alcohol, it’s still illegal to get behind the wheel while stoned.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, driving under the influence of marijuana is the second most common DWI offense in the state. You will face the same penalties as if you were caught drunk driving, which can result in fines, time behind bars and a suspended license.

DWI Defense Attorney in Apple Valley

You will need a skilled defense attorney if you have been arrested or charged with DWI. James Blumberg is a former Dakota County prosecutor who knows how the other side works. He will use this experience to your advantage and build a defense plan in your best interest.

The sooner you retain legal counsel, the better your chances of a more favorable outcome. Call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free case evaluation. James Blumberg Law is based in Dakota County but defends clients in areas such as Anoka County, Carver County and Hennepin County.

Information Center

Back to Top

Minnesota’s DWI Laws

Many marijuana users forget the plant is a schedule I substance in Minnesota. Most equate marijuana crimes to possession and cultivation, but the drug is commonly associated with driving under the influence. Driving while impaired (DWI) has long been against the law in the North Star State. According to the Minnesota Statutes, you can be arrested for intoxicated driving under the following circumstances:

  • Being under the influence of a controlled substance
  • Being under the influence of a substance you know can cause impairment

Minnesota does not have a legal limit for marijuana, but this does not allow you to smoke a few joints and get behind the wheel. The North Star State has a zero-tolerance policy for drugged driving. Having even the smallest amount of THC in your system will result in charges for DWI.

Back to Top

Penalties for Marijuana DWI

Marijuana DWI does not have its own statute in Minnesota law books. Instead, the offense is charged the same as a DWI with alcohol. How you are charged for the crime will depend on your criminal history and whether any aggravating factors were present.

Listed below are the possible penalties for a DWI involving marijuana:

  • A first-time DWI is a misdemeanor punishable by
    • Up to 90 days in jail
    • A fine of up to $1,000
    • No driving privileges for 90 days
  • A second offense is a gross misdemeanor punishable by:
    • Up to a year behind bars
    • A fine of up to $3,000
    • No driving privileges for one year
    • Impounded license plates
  • A third offense is also a gross misdemeanor punishable by:
    • Up to one year in jail
    • A fine of up to $3,000
    • A canceled driver’s license
    • Impounded plates
    • Vehicle forfeiture
  • A fourth or subsequent offense is a felony punishable by:
    • Up to seven years behind bars
    • A fine of up to $14,000
    • A canceled driver’s license
    • Impounded plates
    • Vehicle forfeiture

Back to Top

Related Offenses

You run the risk of being charged with multiple crimes when you drive stoned. Minnesota may have toned down its views on marijuana, but you will face additional charges for possession in a vehicle if an officer finds the drug during a DWI stop.

According to state law, you can face an additional misdemeanor charge if police find more than 1.4 grams of marijuana in your car. This can result in up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 and a driver’s license suspension for 30 days in addition to penalties for DWI.

A second, lesser offense you could face is possession of paraphernalia. Anything used to consume the plant is considered paraphernalia. This can include pipes, bongs, rolling papers and roach clips. You will not spend any time in jail, but you will be fined an additional $300.

It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is you retain legal counsel, especially if you are facing charges for DWI and an additional offense such as possession.

Back to Top

What is Implied Consent?

Many drivers are not aware they give their “implied consent” to chemical testing when driving on the Colorado roads. This law allows law enforcement to request a sample of your blood, breath or urine if they correctly follow a complex set of procedures and have legally arrested you for driving while impaired.

An officer may lead you to believe you have to submit to chemical testing, but you have the right to refuse. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed during a DWI stop and forget your rights, but it’s advised you always refuse a chemical test. Without this crucial evidence, prosecutors will have a difficult time proving you were driving under the influence. Not only this, but marijuana chemical tests are quite controversial.

Marijuana is a unique substance. Once consumed, the drug can stay in your system for weeks and sometimes months. Because of this, a blood test for a marijuana DWI may come back positive even if you didn’t consume the plant that day. This is why it’s crucial you deny a chemical test if you are suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana.

Denying a chemical test does come with civil consequences. Your driving privileges will be revoked from one to six years depending on your DWI history, and you will have to attend a civil hearing for the refusal. It’s imperative you have legal counsel for this hearing. Even if your DWI charge is reduced or dropped, you will still have a DWI stamped on your criminal record if you lose the civil case.

Back to Top

Additional Resources

Implied Consent | Minnesota Statutes – Learn more about implied consent by following the link. You can read the legal definition of implied consent, find out when an officer may request a blood or urine test and see when a test can be given without consent. The statute can be read on the official Minnesota Legislature website.

Driving While Impaired | Minnesota Statutes – It’s advised you read up on the state laws governing DWI if you have been charged with the offense. You can find out when you can be considered under the influence, penalties for the offense, and different vehicles the offense can be committed in.

Back to Top

DWI Defense Lawyer in Apple Valley

Retaining a legal counsel is the best defense you can take against DWI charges. A conviction will not only result in time behind bars and expensive fines, but you will lose your driving privileges and have a mark on your criminal record. James Blumberg will evaluate every aspect of your case and stop at nothing to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

The sooner you contact James Blumberg Law, the sooner we can get to work on your case. Call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a time to speak with us. Some of the areas we serve include Apple Valley, Ham Lake, Chaska and Minneapolis.

Back to Top