Someone charged in federal court for possession of drugs, or drug trafficking, or conspiracy is subject to considerable time in federal prison upon conviction. Federal mandatory minimum sentences are five or ten years, based on the type and quantity of drug possessed.
An interesting question that’s the subject of much debate within the legal and scientific community right now. The current answer (unless there is alcohol involved as well) is that there’s no established level of intoxication for meth (or any other drug). Scientifically, there are a number of studies that suggest that some individuals actually drive better, are more alert, with certain amounts of meth in their system. The legislatures in many states are taking a serious look into this, and for many drugs, are attempting to pass statutes prohibiting the use of any amount in the system when operating a motor vehicle despite this scientific uncertainty.
With no knowledge of the details or the facts of the incident, it can be difficult to say whether or not the officer overstepped his authority, although I am tempted to say yes. It may be precisely what the officer didn’t tell you — i.e., why he stopped the vehicle to begin with — that gives me pause. If he had probable cause to stop the vehicle for, say failing to properly signal a turn (an exceedingly common justification), then he can legitimately stop the vehicle. The remainder of the scenario is more complex, particularly with your friend in the back seat who is on probation.
Any person charged in federal court could face an enhanced sentence if he/she has previously been found guilty of a felony drug offense. 21 U.S.C. 851, also referred to as Section 851, is a subsection of the Controlled Substances Act, which allows federal prosecutors to use a defendant’s prior felony drug conviction to subject the defendant to an increased sentence in a current case. Federal prosecutors can use a prior drug conviction to enhance sentences in current drug, firearm or immigration cases.