Drugged Driving in Michigan (Marijuana and Prescription Drugs)
January 12th, 2023
Even though Michigan has legalized marijuana for recreational use, drugged driving is still a crime.
The crime of Operating Under the Influence of Drugs (OUID), commonly referred to as impaired driving or drugged driving, is treated similarly to an OWI / drunk driving charge. While the charges and potential penalties are the same, defending against a criminal charge of driving under the influence of drugs requires a specialized approach.
Unlike driving while under the influence of alcohol, where a person can legally operate a vehicle as long as they are not impaired and their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is below .08%, there is no legal limit for the amount of drugs you can have in your system. If you have any active drugs in your system and are impaired, you can be charged with OUID.
If you have been charged with OUID in Michigan, you have a long and challenging road ahead of you. But you don’t have to go it alone. Elmen Legal will investigate the OUID charges, protect and defend your rights in court, provide unbiased advice about how to challenge the charges and your likelihood of success, and work hard to have the charges reduced, the case dismissed, and minimize the severity of the punishment.
Common Drugs that Lead to OUID Charges
Under Michigan law, it is illegal to “drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while intoxicated.” In this case, “intoxicated” means under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances, such as recreational or prescription drugs.
The statute covers Schedule I and Schedule II drugs and makes it illegal to drive if you have them in your system. Common drugs that can lead to criminal charges for drugged driving include
- Prescription drugs
Drugged Driving and Marijuana
Even though Michigan has legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, driving while under its influence is still illegal. While it is illegal to drive while actively under the influence of marijuana, it is not illegal to drive with marijuana residue in your system.
Marijuana affects different people differently. A habitual marijuana user will not be affected the same way as someone who rarely uses it. Therefore, it is difficult to set a legal limit on the amount of THC a person can have in their system to be legally impaired. This can make it difficult for prosecutors to prove that a person was driving under the influence of marijuana. Because marijuana metabolites can stay in a user’s body for up to a month, prosecutors must prove that a driver was actually impaired. As a result, many OUID charges for marijuana can be pled down to a lesser offense.
Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs
Many people are surprised to learn that they can be charged with drugged driving if they drive while under the influence of prescription drugs.
Many prescription drugs are Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances. Even if the drugs are lawfully prescribed, you can be charged with OUID if you take them and they impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
Penalties for drugged driving are the same as for an OWI conviction. For a first-time conviction, you face up to 93 days in jail, a fine of $100 to $500, up to 360 hours (45 days) of community service, and vehicle immobilization. You also face a mandatory 30-day license suspension followed by 150 days of restricted driving privileges.
Defending Against Drugged Driving Charges
If you have been charged with drugged driving in Michigan, Elmen Legal can help. I will investigate and carefully analyze your situation to determine the available defenses in your case. I will challenge the evidence the prosecutor intends to present and how that evidence was collected. I will work with the prosecutor to try to negotiate a favorable plea. And if a favorable resolution is not forthcoming, I will defend you at trial.
Elmen Legal proudly represents people who have been charged with drugged driving in Ann Arbor, Saline, Pittsfield Township, Chelsea, and Ypsilanti, and in Washtenaw, Wayne, Monroe, Lenawee, Hillsdale, Jackson, Ingham, Livingston, and Oakland Counties.
I invite you to learn more about me and the cases I handle and then call (734) 707-8915 or contact Elmen Legal online to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how I can help.
Categories: Drunk Driving / OWI