Madison, WI Operating with a Restricted Controlled Substance (Marijuana/THC) Attorney

Lawyer for DUI & OWI Charges

Rick Coad is a Madison, Wisconsin criminal defense lawyer who is skilled in defending all operating with a restricted controlled substance OWI charges.

Attorney Rick Coad
Attorney Rick Coad

The veteran defense lawyers at Coad Law can successfully defend you if you are charged with operating with a restricted controlled substance offense in the Madison, WI area. Wisconsin law makes it illegal to drive a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance. Specifically, Wis. Stat. Sec. 346.63(1)(am) states: No person may drive or operate a motor vehicle while: the person has a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in his or her blood. Marijuana (THC) is illegal under Wisconsin law, plain and simple.

So what does that mean if you use marijuana whether it’s smoking, vaping or gummies? THC is the cannabinoid that gives you the intoxicating effect of using marijuana. The most abundant form of THC is Delta-9. Delta-9 gets you high. Delta-9 is the chemical measured by law enforcement if you are suspected of driving under the influence. If law enforcement has probable cause to believe you are driving with Delta-9 in your system (or while intoxicated generally) they can get a warrant (0r your consent) to get a blood sample. The sample will show whether you have any THC metabolites in your system (Delta-9 or otherwise). Given that the plain language of Wisconsin law prohibits you from driving with “any detectable amount” of a controlled substance, it is illegal to drive if you have any Delta-9 in your system. This creates a huge problem because it takes anywhere from 3 days to several weeks for your system to completely eliminate Delta-9.

So, you could be high on a Saturday night, drive on Monday morning, completely sober, and still violate Wisconsin law if you have any detectable amount of THC in your system. In other words, the current Wisconsin law doesn’t even ask the question whether you are high or intoxicated. It simply prohibits having any controlled substance in your system.

Practically, the police will not have probable cause to arrest you unless you are driving erratically, smell like alcohol or marijuana (see our article here), or exhibit some signs of intoxication. But even if you had a drink of alcohol, the police take your blood sample, and you have any Delta-9 in your system, you can be charged with operating with a restricted controlled substance.

In Wisconsin, a first offense for operating with a restricted controlled substance is charged as a civil offense, and in most instances a person cannot be sent to jail. A second, third or fourth offense are criminal misdemeanor offenses.

Rick Coad is a drunk/drugged driving lawyer in Madison, WI, who will defend you through all court proceedings, including an administrative hearing with the Department of Transportation. Rick also reviews a case to determine whether the initial police stop was illegal, whether there was an illegal search, or illegal arrest. He will seek the best possible result from a plea agreement, or defend you at trial.

Rick represents people charged with drunk/drugged driving (DUI, OWI, PAC) in the Wisconsin circuit courts located in Madison (Dane County), Jefferson (Jefferson County), Portage (Columbia County), Janesville (Rock County), Dodgeville (Iowa County), Monroe (Green County) and others.  He also represents people in the municipal courts located in Madison, Waunakee, Sun Prairie, Verona, Fitchburg, Middleton and others.

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