Massachusetts's Drugged Driving Law

Learn about the laws and penalties for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts’s drugged driving law is located at Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24. It states that it is a crime to operate a motor vehicle “while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or of marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances, as defined in section one of chapter ninety-four C, or the vapors of glue.”

In other words, in Massachusetts it’s a crime to drive while under the influence of a drug. No blood testing standard is established in Massachusetts – that is, there is no fixed amount of drugs within the blood system that determines conviction. Whether a driver is impaired is determined on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the prosecutor.

What drugs are prohibited?

Massachusetts’s drugged driving law is directed at the prohibition of  "marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances, or the vapors of glue that impairs driving ability.” It’s not an acceptable defense to a drugged driving charge to claim that the driver is legally entitled to use a controlled substance unless charged with a violation of subsection (d) (see above).

What happens if a driver is convicted of drug impaired driving in Massachusetts?

A driver arrested for drugged driving in Massachusetts will be charged with driving under the influence and subject to DUI penalties. A conviction for drugged driving will be considered as a prior offense for purposes of calculating punishment regardless of whether a subsequent offense is due to alcohol or drugs. Read more about Massachusetts’s DUI laws.

Do Massachusetts drivers have to submit to drug testing?

Massascusetts does not extend its implied consent rule for drug testing.However, the refusal to take the test can be admitted into evidence against the driver.

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