Driving under the influence of marijuana is on the rise. While many think that consuming alcohol is far worse than marijuana when it comes to impaired driving, in the state of Wisconsin, drunk and drugged driving are both against the law. It is illegal to be under the influence of marijuana in the state, and if you are caught driving while doing so, you may be charged with Wisconsin OWI.
Wisconsin drunk drivers who are stopped may be charged for OWI when their BAC exceeds the legal limit of 0.08. However, when it comes to driving under the influence of marijuana, even trace amounts of the illegal drug in your system is enough to be charged with OWI. Wisconsin law prohibits drugged driving two ways. One goes to your capacity to drive: Are you under the influence of marijuana to the extent you are unable to drive safely? If a police officer notices erratic driving or otherwise unsafe driving behaviors, you can be stopped. The second way law enforcement targets drugged driving is through field sobriety checks. If marijuana is in your bloodstream in any amount, it’s enough to be convicted even if it has been hours or days since you smoked.
The consequences for drugged driving typically start with a fine for a first offense, with fines and penalties increasing with each subsequent offense. A forth offense of driving under the influence of marijuana can even be charged as a Class H felony, punishable by up to 10K in fines and up to 6 years in prison. Driving under the influence, whether its alcohol, marijuana or any other controlled substance, can result in real consequences.
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An OWI conviction record can wreak havoc on employment opportunities, insurance rates, university or college admissions and more. A first offense OWI conviction can put you or a loved one on a collision course for a subsequent OWI conviction, which only compounds the problems. If you have been charged with a Wisconsin OWI, it is very important to seek experienced legal help to either have the charges dismissed when possible or at least reduce the charges you face. If you need help, contact the Waukesha OWI Criminal Defense Law Offices of Andrew C. Ladd LLC today at 262-542-3900.