Did you know that in Jefferson County and in Missouri more broadly, driving while intoxicated offenses are not limited to driving while under the influence of alcohol?
Section 577.010 of the Missouri Revised Statutes lays out the offense in plain English, stating that “A person commits the offense of driving while intoxicated if he or she operates a vehicle while in an intoxicated condition.”
“Intoxicated Condition” is defined under Section 577.001 as being “when a person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or drug, or any combination thereof.”
If one is under the influence of a controlled substance or a drug, the State must prove not only that the driver was intoxicated, but must also prove what substance, or combination of substances, caused that intoxication. This often makes driving while intoxicated due to drugs cases difficult for the State to prove, because it is not enough that an officer simply testify “he/she was driving erratically and I could tell they must be on something.” The State must prove what the substance was.
These cases can be complex and often involve expert witnesses for the State such as Drug Recognition Experts (or DRE’s), as well as blood tests and other chemical tests. An experienced criminal lawyer can assess the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case and ensure that a driver’s rights are protected under the law.