When faced with a criminal charge, you may feel vulnerable, abandoned and scared. You may feel as if your whole future is at stake, and there is nobody to help you. The experienced Austin criminal defense lawyers at Peek & Toland are here to provide you with legal representation and mental support in your time of need. Your charges can be beat, especially with such a knowledgeable legal team as ours at your side. To get started on your path to a better tomorrow today, call (512) 474-4445.
Texas DWI Law and Drugs
Most people know that law enforcement in Texas and all across the nation are taking steps to crack down on drunk driving, but very few realize that the same is being done for drugged driving. Both violations fall under the state’s driving while intoxicated (DWI) statute, according to which “intoxicated means not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body.”
More importantly, drugged driving can be met with the same stiff penalties as drunk driving: a fine of up to $2,000; a jail sentence between 72 hours and 180 days; community service for up to 100 hours; license suspension of up to one year; and a surcharge of $1,000 or $2,000 per year for three years (and this is for the first offense).
Common Drugs Detected in DWI Cases
The presence of either legal or illegal drugs or a combination of both, in the blood stream while driving can constitute a DWI violation. Drugs commonly involved in DWI cases include the following:
- Sleeping Pills
Texas police have the authorization to determine using their discretion whether a driver exhibits signs of drug impairment, meaning they can arrest a driver for DWI based on suspicion alone. Those arrested are obligated to submit to a breath or blood test under Texas’ implied consent law. Refusal can result in an automatic license suspension.
The Problems with Drugged Driving Prosecution
Due to the broad definition of intoxication under Texas law, an individual may be arrested for DWI simply for taking their daily medication and driving to work. There really is no limit to what drug could be considered dangerous in a criminal case. This is obviously problematic.
Another key issue is that there is little scientific support for quantization, relating to impairment when it comes to drugs, as opposed to alcohol. There is no magic number or percentage at which a person can be deemed clearly impaired. This gets even more complicated with prescription medicine: a patient with high tolerance may take a large dosage and still function perfectly well, yet be criminalized due to the arbitrary terms of the DWI statute.
A Texas Criminal Defense Firm with a Track Record of Success
If you feel you have been unfairly charged with a DWI violation, it is absolutely essential you get in touch with a drunk driving defense lawyer at Peek & Toland immediately. The sooner we get started on your case, the better chance you’ll have of attaining an optimal case outcome. Don’t delay, contact our office now.