Understanding Indiana Laws Regarding Marijuana and Driving

Driving under the influence of marijuana in Indiana can have serious consequences, regardless of how little THC, the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana, is found in your blood. Even if there is just a negligible amount of THC in your system when you are pulled over, you could still be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if there is a collision and someone is killed, you could end up facing a felony charge and potentially ten years in prison. In this blog post, we will explore Indiana’s marijuana laws regarding driving and how they differ from other states.

Indiana has Strict Drug Laws

Indiana has some of the strictest drug laws in the country, and marijuana is no exception. Unlike alcohol, where the legal limit is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08%, there is no equivalent limit for marijuana. This means that even if a blood test shows that you have only a small amount of THC in your system, you can still be charged with driving under the influence. This is because THC affects people differently, which makes it difficult to set a universal limit.

 Moreover, Indiana’s laws regarding marijuana are harsher than other states, even those where marijuana is legal. In Colorado, for example, where marijuana is legal for recreational use, the legal limit is 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. So, if you are driving in Indiana and have more than a negligible amount of THC in your system, you are taking a major risk, even though it may be legal in other states.

Know the Laws of Surrounding States

Many individuals from Indiana make the trip up north to Michigan to purchase marijuana, but this can lead to legal trouble if caught. Unlike alcohol, where you can only get in trouble for an open container while driving, marijuana possession is illegal regardless of whether it's sealed or not. Even being caught at a party with marijuana on your person can result in a drug charge in Indiana. This is different from nearby states like Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois, where possession of marijuana may not carry as severe a penalty. It's important to know the laws and penalties surrounding marijuana in Indiana.

A Story to Learn From

Let me share a remarkable story that speaks to the legal complexities around marijuana in Indiana. A client from Michigan was in the market for a vehicle and found one listed on Facebook Marketplace by an Indiana resident. Negotiations ensued, and when the Michigan man couldn't get the seller down to his price, he offered to trade marijuana instead. To his surprise, the seller - a sheriff's deputy- accepted. However, when the Michigan man arrived to make the exchange, he was met by police officers and promptly arrested. This case demonstrates just how strict and inflexible Indiana's marijuana laws can be. Even law enforcement officials are not above the law, and the ramifications of attempting to break it are dire.

Indiana DUI with THC in Your System

If you are charged with DUI in Indiana and found to have THC in your system, the consequences can be severe. A first-time offense can result in a fine of up to $5,000 and up to a year in jail. Subsequent offenses carry even steeper penalties, including mandatory minimum jail sentences of up to ten years if someone is killed in a collision. It is important to note that these penalties apply regardless of whether your use of marijuana was medical, recreational, or accidental.


The only way to avoid these harsh penalties is to not drive after using marijuana, regardless of how much you have consumed. Marijuana can impair your reflexes, your coordination, and your judgment, making you a danger on the road. If you are planning to use marijuana, make sure you have a designated driver or use public transportation.


Marijuana laws in Indiana are strict and different from the laws in other states. Suppose you are driving under the influence of marijuana and cause a collision. In that case, you will face serious consequences, such as a felony charge and a mandatory minimum jail sentence of ten years. No matter how little THC is found in your system, it is still considered driving under the influence. Remember always to avoid driving after consuming marijuana, and instead, choose a designated driver or take public transportation. Stay safe and be aware of the laws in Indiana concerning marijuana and driving.


If you have questions about a matter that is pending before a court in Northeast Indiana or Northwest Ohio, contact Matt Chapel immediately. Call Matt at 260-387-6236 or email him at matt@mattchapellaw.com.

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