Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Indiana

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Driving under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, other drugs or a combination is a crime in Indiana. (In. Ann. Code § 9-30-5-1.)This article explains the penalties imposed for DUI violations, but other laws regarding marijuana possession may also apply to passengers and drivers.

For detailed information on Indiana marijuana laws in general, see Indiana Marijuana Laws.

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

It is illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, other drugs, alcohol, or a combination of substances. In Indiana, being under the influence means that a driver is in actual physical control of a vehicle when—because of drug or alcohol use—it is less than safe for that person to drive.

When alcohol is involved, a blood alcohol level of between 0.15 and 0.08 percent of the driver's blood, by volume, will conclusively establish that the driver is under the influence (if the level is less, the prosecutor can still point to the driver's actions to prove that he was under the influence). When marijuana is involved, however, any amount of marijuana (including metabolites) that was in the driver’s blood or urine while he was driving will establish that the driver was under the influence. (In. Ann. Code § 9-30-5-1.)

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence

Penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana vary according to whether it’s a first or subsequent conviction. (In. Ann. Code § 9-30-5-1.)

  • First conviction. Violations are a class C misdemeanor, punishable with between five and 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, up to 180 hours of community service, and probation for up to two years. The judge may also order up to two years of license suspension.
  • Second conviction. Violations are a class D felony, punishable with between five days in jail and three years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, at least one year of license suspension, and probation for up to two years.
  • Third conviction. Violations are a class D felony, punishable with between ten days in jail and three years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, at least one year of license suspension, and probation for up to two years.

Additional penalties may apply to subsequent convictions, offenses that took place with a minor in the vehicle, or offenses that caused injury or death.

An Important Note on Local Legal Representation

If you have been charged with a marijuana-related driving offense, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. While the penalties and consequences of a marijuana charge are governed by statutory law, only a local criminal defense attorney can tell you how cases like yours tend to be handled by prosecutors and judges in your courthouse.

by: , Contributing Author

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