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What are the drugged driving laws in Wisconsin? Can someone be charged with drugged driving if he is taking a prescription drug?

In Wisconsin, drugged driving is considered a form of OWI or operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Wisconsin statute §346.63 prohibits drivers from operating a vehicle under the following conditions:

  • A driver may not operate a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant, controlled substance, controlled substance analog, or any combination of these substances to a degree that makes him or her incapable of safe driving.
  • A driver may not operate a vehicle with a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in his blood.
  • A driver may not operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol level greater than .08

Illegal drugs

Since illegal drugs are—by their nature—against the law, the presence of an illegal drug in a driver’s body is enough for that driver to be charged with a Wisconsin OWI.

Prescription drugs

What if the driver has a prescription for the drug? Because many people abuse prescription drugs, it is possible to be charged with Wisconsin OWI while taking a prescription medication. A person is allowed to have these medications in his body as long as he has a legal prescription and the dose does not exceed the therapeutic level. If a driver’s blood concentration exceeds the therapeutic level for a medication, he will be considered impaired and may be charged with a Wisconsin OWI even if he has a legal prescription.

Some drugs are dangerous even at legal levels. Medications that have labels that say “May Cause Drowsiness” or “Do Not Operate Heavy Machinery” should not be taken by drivers. The driver may not be charged with drugged driving, but he can be held liable for any accidents that he causes while behind the wheel.

If you are injured by a drugged driver in Wisconsin, the law is on your side—but the insurance companies may not be. They may try to blame you for the accident even if the other driver was clearly at fault. Learn more about insurance company tactics in The Ultimate Guide For Automobile Accident Victims or call Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678 and ask to schedule a free consultation.


Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham