McDonald Pierangeli Macfarlane, PLLC

What are the consequences of drugged driving?

From a young age we are told that it is illegal to drink and drive and there will be strict consequences for doing so. The same cannot always be said for driving while under the influence of drugs or medications. Because of this, drivers may not know the dangers or consequences of drugged driving.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly 13 million individuals 16 or older have driven after using illicit drugs.


Individuals can be convicted of drugged driving, or substance abuse and driving, if police pull them over while operating while visibly impaired (OWVI), operating while intoxicated with drugs or alcohol (OWI), or operating with the presence of a schedule 1 drug in the system (OWPD). What are the consequences of each?

All three convictions have the same penalties including:

  • Fine: Up to 500 dollars
  • Jail time: Up to 93 days
  • Community service: Up to 360 hours
  • license restriction: Up to 180 days
  • Possible loss of vehicle

Can a driver face conviction with legal drugs in the system?

Yes. An individual who is under the influence of over-the-counter or prescription drugs can still face an OWVI or OWI conviction. Oftentimes, individuals do not think about how legal drugs can affect the body and mind, which is why it can be confusing when the police pull individuals over.

Legal prescriptions and over the counter drugs can affect a person’s cognitive function and motor abilities when driving, which is why one can face charges if driving in an unsafe manner while under the influence.

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