Althrough marijuana has been legalized for recreational by adults in several states, and support is growing, it remains illegal in the state of Missouri. As with alcohol or other controlled substances, a person who chooses to drive while under the influence of marijuana can be charged with a DWI if an officer pulls them over. In addition to DWI charges, drivers may also face driver's license repercussions and additional charges and penalties for possession.
With an alcohol-related DWI, drivers are legally permitted to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of less than .08 percent. However, when marijuana is involved, any amount of the substance found in the driver’s blood or urine can establish unlawful intoxication (Missouri Statute § 577.010).
Penalties for marijuana-related DWI vary according to whether the offense is a first or subsequent conviction:
- First offense: Up to six months in jail, mandatory counseling, and a 30-day mandatory license suspension.
- Second offense within five years: Five days to one year in jail, 30 days of community service, a fine of up to $1,000, and a two-year license suspension.
- Third offense: 60 days to up to four years in prison, 60 days of community service, a fine of up to $5,000, and a three-year license suspension.
- Fourth offense: 60 days to up to seven years in prison, 60 days of community service, a fine of up to $5,000, and a three-year license suspension.
- Fifth offense: Five to 15 years in prison and at least a three-year license suspension.
These penalties can be increased if alcohol was also involved, or if the defendant is a minor. If charges are also filed for possession of marijuana, drivers will face penalties thtat will vary depending on the amount of marijuana in their possession. For 10 grams or less, for example, individuals can be charged with a misdemeanor and up to a $500 fine for their first offense, and up to $2,000 in fines and 1 year in jail for a second offense. Possessing over 35 grams of marijuana is a felony in Missouri, and subjects defendants to up to 7 years in prison.
DWI Attorneys in St. Louis
When it comes to criminal defense, experience matters. Our firm has more than 60 years of criminal law experience, including former prosecution experience. This insight into how the “other side” operates, as well as our knowledge of how St. Louis courts handle marijuana-related DWI cases, allows us to better represent our clients. When you work with The Hammer Law Firm, LLC, it may be possible to have your charges reduced so that you will not have to face the maximum penalties.
If you are facing charges for driving under the influence of marijuana or marijuana possession, it is urgent that you consult with a St. Louis DWI defense lawyer at The Hammer Law Firm, LLC as soon as possible. To request a consultation with a member of our award-winning team, contact us today.