When most people think of a DUI charge (called DWI in Missouri), they typically picture a person intoxicated by alcohol. They may even picture open containers of beer or liquor strewn about the car. However, it is just as possible to become intoxicated by marijuana and be charged with a Missouri DWI.
There are serious charges related to a DWI charge in this state. When drugs are involved, the hazards to your freedom can be greater due to the additional drug-related charges that may come with it.
No specific limits for marijuana exist to determine if a person is intoxicated by DWI. Unlike alcohol, which can be measured by blood alcohol content (BAC), marijuana cannot be measured by a breath test. Instead, the presence of marijuana can be detected through the use of a blood or urine test.
Some states have enacted a certain level of metabolites in the blood that create a presumption of intoxication. Even those do not reflect what science really understands about THC metabolites. THC stays in the blood at different rates in different people, unlike the more scientifically established rates at which alcohol leaves the body.
Missouri is even worse about this issue. There is no established amount of marijuana that is legal to have in the blood and drive. This is very problematic, as THC can last in the blood for a long time.
The Sober Driver: Still Charged with DWI
One of the primary problems associated with a marijuana DWI is the fact that a person could have smoked three days ago, be 100% sober, and still be charged with driving while intoxicated under Missouri law. Lab results can mislead a jury, especially when a person is not represented by counsel.
These types of unfair charges should not be allowed. If you have been charged with a marijuana DWI, you can challenge the blood or urine results to show that you were not intoxicated at the time of your arrest.
Defending Your Marijuana DWI Case in Missouri
There are multiple ways to defend your marijuana DWI in Missouri. Just because you are charged with a crime does not mean that you are guilty, and you should never assume you are. Ways to defend your DWI case include, but are not limited to the following.
- Challenge Blood Tests: Blood tests must be performed under very specific guidelines and sets of procedures. If the lab fails to follow the proper protocol, the tests can be challenged as inaccurate or even kept out of evidence altogether.
- Challenge Field Sobriety Tests: Field sobriety tests, like the walk and turn test, are known for their inaccuracies, and can be challenged. Further, just because the police interpret your performance as intoxication, does not mean that it is true or that the jury will agree.
- File a Suppression Motion: When evidence or even the initial traffic stop itself is collected or done in violation of the Constitution, the evidence can be kept out of evidence.
Consult an Experienced Missouri DWI Attorney
A marijuana DWI may seem frightening, but there is always hope in every case. Joshua Wilson is an experienced DWI attorney who can help you defend your case and your constitutional rights.