An Overview of Kansas City Drug-Related DUI/DWI Offenses

Kimberly2 1 Author:

Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney

What Is a Drug-Related DUI in Kansas City, Mo?

For most people, a DUI or DWI is an alcohol offense synonymous with drunk driving, but this position is only half correct. Generally, the scope of DUI offenses in the US and under Missouri law includes intoxication by alcohol, drugs, and controlled substances. A drug-related DUI, thus, is one in which the suspect is alleged to have driven or operated a vehicle while being under the influence of drugs.Recently, the Kansas City Police Department in Missouri has observed an increase in drug-related DWI arrests in the city. The department takes such offenses very seriously, and it may be difficult to avoid a conviction if you get arrested.If you or your loved one are already facing drug-related DUI charges (also known as DUID) in Kansas City, MO, it is important that you understand the charge against you to help you prepare for your defense and possibly avoid a conviction.The information provided here offers insight into the nature of drug-related DUIs under Missouri law and how a Kansas City drug lawyer can help you. Read on to learn more.

Elements of a Drug-Related DUI in Missouri

Other than alcohol, the other substances that can cause ‘intoxication’ and result in a DWI offense under Missouri law include illegal drugs and controlled substances such as the following:

  • Fentanyl
  • Cocaine
  • Morphine
  • Heroin
  • Raw Opium
  • Marijuana

Prescription or over-the-counter medication that can cause intoxication or impair the senses are also classified as intoxicants.Towards the end of 2022, Missouri lawmakers legalized the consumption and possession of limited quantities of cannabis/marijuana. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be arrested for a DUI if you drive while intoxicated by this controlled substance. Driving while impaired by marijuana is likely to be treated like driving while impaired by prescription drugs.If you’re caught with more than the legally prescribed amount of cannabis in your possession, you could be charged with other offenses like drug trafficking, drug possession, or conspiracy to traffic drugs in addition to the DUI charge. In that case, especially where felony drug charges are involved, you might need to contact a DUI attorney to defend you in court to avoid possible jail time in a state or federal prison.

How Do Kansas City Law Enforcement Officers Test for DUID?

If a Kansas City law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a DUID has occurred, they can verify their suspicions by asking you to take a chemical test.While the law provides that every Missouri driver has consented to such a chemical test, you can refuse the test. However, refusing the test comes with certain penalties, including the suspension of your driver’s license. So before refusing the test, you might want to speak with a DUI attorney first to determine if a refusal is appropriate.Note that Missouri law does not prescribe a legal limit to determine whether excessive drug consumption has occurred. This is in stark contrast with the law on alcohol-related DUIs. For such cases, the law prescribes permissible levels of blood alcohol content for drivers, beyond which a person can be arrested and charged with a DUI.What this means is that once a police officer or Missouri State Highway Patrol officer has reason to pull you over for driving while intoxicated and any amount of drugs are found in your system, you’ll likely be charged and possibly convicted for a DUI.

Penalties for Kansas City DUID

Just like alcohol-related DUIs, DUIDs are categorized as misdemeanors or felonies depending on whether the accused is a repeat offender and whether anyone was hurt in the process of the crime.The penalties upon conviction include:

  • Payment of fines
  • Jail time
  • Community service
  • License suspension

 

How an Attorney Can Help

Drug-related DUIs could be complicated and if you’re facing such charges, consider getting a criminal defense attorney to represent you. Your attorney can assess your case and help you establish a suitable defense where possible. Consider briefing an attorney as soon as possible to increase your chances of success at your trial.For further questions on drug-related DUI cases in the Kansas City metropolitan area, contact us at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center to schedule a free consultation. Let us help you fight those pesky criminal charges.

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