In Minnesota, a person can be charged with a DWI/DUI for having more than alcohol in their system; they can also be charged for being under the influence of drugs even if they have a valid prescription for them.
Controlled substances can impede a person’s ability to drive a motor vehicle. Even if the drug is prescribed, it can still be illegal to drive while under the influence of it if it is a Schedule I or II controlled substance. Here are some instances of how a person can receive a DWI in Minneapolis while under the influence of controlled substances:
- An individual sustains an injury in an accident and her doctor prescribes her Vicodin so she can tolerate the pain. She gets in her car to run to the store for milk, but an officer notices that she swerved left of center, so he pulls her over. He suspects her of driving under the influence, so she submits to the requested tests and it is found that she has narcotics in her system. Because Vicodin is a Schedule II drug, it is illegal to drive after taking it, even if it is prescribed.
- A college student goes to a party and smokes marijuana. He declined alcohol since he didn’t have a designated driver. On his way home, a patrol officer notices he has a broken headlight, so he pulls him over. The officer determines that the student may be under the influence of a substance, so he has the student submit to urine testing. When the marijuana is found in his system, he is charged with DWI.
- A gentleman decides to get his ATV and go mudding with some of his friends. He has a friend to pick him up because the side effects of the Adderall. He hits the trails with his friends, but he flips the ATV and someone calls the police. Because Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance, he can be charged with DWI although he has a prescription.
Many individuals throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul do not have prescriptions for the prescription drugs that they take. They may steal them off of family members, friends, or they get them illegally on the Internet. Either way, there is a need for a Minneapolis DWI attorney to help defend against the charges.
There are times when a prescription drug DWI charge can be successfully challenged. Minnesota statute 169A.46 subd. 2 offers an affirmative defense when a person is charged with a prescription drug charge. There is a clause in subdivision 1 that states a person can prove that they were taking their prescription according to the orders of their doctor. If this fact is presented, then it is possible for the charges to be dismissed. The only downfall to this defense is most defendants will testify in their own defense, which means the burden of proof leaves the shoulders of the prosecution and moves to the defense. Your attorney will provide you with advice on what your actions should be.