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What Is the Difference Between A Drug-Related DUI And Drunk Driving?

Last updated on January 17, 2023

In most states, DWI is the acronym for driving while intoxicated. It was Minnesota’s original drunk driving statute. It was commonly used to charge people suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. With more people accused of drugged driving, specifically huffing, our state changed DWI to mean driving while impaired.

The standards of the old definition made it difficult to prove guilt if someone was suspected of driving under the influence of drugs. DWI now means driving while impaired. It can now be used to include driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs and substance impairment. If you face drugged driving charges, call the experienced DWI/DUI attorneys at Meaney & Patrin, P.A.

Why Would That Slight Difference Affect Your Charges?

The DWI language is more comprehensive under the new statute. It can now be used to describe driving under the influence of any drug.

It now can now be used to charge people who:

  • Are thought to be driving while under the influence of a controlled substance (including opiates, hallucinogens, depressants, narcotics) that is in any amount
  • Was driving even though they were under the influence of a hazardous substance that impaired driving ability
  • Has any amount of a scheduled I (heroin, LSD, and ecstasy) and controlled II (methadone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine, methamphetamine, and cocaine) in their body
  • It is under the influence of marijuana, which is excluded from the controlled substance zero-tolerance rule. It is still a drugged driving offense

There Are Legal Defenses For Drugged Driving Charges

If you are suspected of drugged driving, you could face the same administrative and criminal consequences as someone accused of drunk driving. As Minnesota’s experienced DWI defenders, we have helped clients get their charges reduced or dismissed. We cannot promise these results, but we will work to build an effective defense for you.

Successful defenses have included:

  • Drugs that are legal, over-the-counter and prescriptions
  • Sleep driving. Sixty million Americans use sleep aids and sleep-driving has become a problem
  • Illegal traffic stop
  • Faulty chemical tests
  • Involuntary intoxication (when the person charged ingested the substance without their knowledge)

The DWI Guys Are Ready To Help Minnesotans

Facing impaired driving charges without experienced DWI help might be one of the biggest mistakes of your life. If you are convicted, the consequences are serious. We have experience with Minnesota drug charges. Call Minnesota’s experienced DWI defenders at 612-688-2299 or email us.