Driving while under the influence of drugs in Wisconsin is Illegal and can lead to OWI charges. Operating with THC, meth, cocaine, oxycodone, Ambien, or any other controlled substance in your system is a violation of Wisconsin’s drugged driving laws. Depending on the drug, you could be facing different penalties and fines.
Drugged Driving Laws and Penalties Driving while high in Wisconsin
The Three Levels of Drugged Driving
1. Restricted Controlled Substance
Restricted controlled substances include all schedule 1 drugs, including marijuana or THC, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and others.
2. Controlled Substances
Controlled substances generally include all substances requiring a prescription like oxycodone, amphetamine, benzodiazepines, Ambien, and other families of prescription drugs.
3. Non-Scheduled Drugs
Non-scheduled drugs are generally grouped as over-the-counter medications like non-prescription sleep aids, antihistamines, and cold-flu supplements.
Each level requires a different burden of proof for Wisconsin to convict you of an OWI. Restricted controlled substance cases require no proof of intoxication, non-prescription drugs require the most, and prescription controlled substances are in the middle.
Can I get an OWI from Legally Purchased Drugs?
Even legally purchased drugs in Wisconsin, Illinois, or any other state have legal restrictions on their usage, especially while operating a vehicle.
Smoking weed in Illinois and driving to Wisconsin:
Even though consuming marijuana/THC is legal in states like Illinois and Michigan, driving under the influence of THC in Wisconsin is illegal and can result in an OWI charge.
Operating a vehicle while under the influence of legally prescribed medications can land you an OWI charge in Wisconsin. Even if the concentration in your blood comes back from the toxicology test within “therapeutic levels” it does not make one bit of difference under Wisconsin law. What will matter is whether the prosecutor can prove you were impaired by that medication at the time of operating your vehicle.
You Don’t Need to be High
Wisconsin’s restricted controlled substance law allows law enforcement to convict you of an OWI even if they only find a barely detectable amount of restricted controlled substance. There is no need for the officer to prove you were impaired in any way.
Arguing With an Officer Will Make Matters Worse
Telling a police officer you legally used cannabis in another state an hour ago is not a defense: it is a confession. Providing an officer with any information about your drug consumption will significantly hurt your case.
Consequences of Driving High
Doing drugs and driving can result in drastic consequences for the rest of your life and land you thousands of dollars in fines and extra costs. According to the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation, drugged driving penalties can range from a forfeiture and license revocation to a lifetime license revocation and up to 6 years in prison. If someone gets injured or killed as a result of a drugged driver, penalties become more severe.