DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED: DWI & DRUGS
When people think of the term ” driving while intoxicated,” or DWI, they might believe this simply refers to drunk driving, but this is not always the case. It is true that overconsumption of alcohol can cause impaired driving, but so can other things. Controlled substances, recreational drugs, prescription medication, or even over-the-counter medications can all cause intoxication and result in a person being arrested for DWI.
How a Drug-Related DWI Can Be Fought
In Texas law, there is no real distinction between driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of a medication or controlled substance. In either case, your driving is impaired and you are putting lives in danger. Penalties for drug-related DWIs are the same as those for alcohol-related DWIs. The only difference is how the prosecution will attempt to prove your intoxication.
When you are pulled over as a suspect for drunk driving, the police officer will perform sobriety tests and a blood- or breath-alcohol test to determine if your blood alcohol concentration is above 0.08%, the minimum level necessary for a legal DWI arrest. For drug-related DWIs, field sobriety tests can help determine if a person is experiencing drug- or alcohol-related intoxication, but they do not work to determine all forms of drug-related intoxication.
In fact, most officers are not thoroughly trained in how to perceive drug intoxication. When your case is brought to court, the only evidence that can be provided against you, besides the officer’s account of the situation before the arrest, is a urine test. This means that many mistakes and assumptions can be made in a drug-related DWI arrest. If you believe that you are a victim of a wrongful DWI arrest, don’t hesitate to learn what a Houston criminal attorney could do for you.
Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs
According to Texas Penal Code, if a person drives while intoxicated with any substance, the fact that they may be legally entitled to its use is not a valid defense against DWI. In other words, just because an individual, for example, is “high” on prescribed drugs, they are just as subject to DWI penalties if convicted as is someone driving while impaired by alcohol. Even cold and flu medicines can render a person legally unfit to drive a vehicle. Our firm can closely examine the arrest, procedures used to obtain evidence, and other factors to disprove or mitigate the case against you, just as if it were an alcohol DWI case. With a former chief prosecutor in our firm, we have the well-rounded perspective to provide you with quality criminal defense