Not only can you get a DWI for driving while under the influence of alcohol in Texas, but you can also face such a charge when operating a vehicle while being impaired on drugs. The state’s drugged driving law applies to both illegal drugs (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, etc.) and controlled substances (e.g., prescription medication like Vicodin, Ambien, Xanax, Percocet, etc.).
Although there is no legal limit to determine intoxication like alcohol, a person can get a DWI involving drugs if he/she does not have “the normal use of mental or physical faculties” because of the ingestion of drugs. However, an arresting officer may request a suspected drugged driver to take a blood test to determine the presence of drugs or other substances in the person’s body.
Refusal to take a post-arrest chemical test violates Texas’ implied consent law, which requires all lawfully arrested drivers to submit to blood testing. Punishment includes license suspension and having the refusal used against you in court.
Similar to an alcohol-related DWI, a first drugged DWI offense is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum jail term of 180 days, driver’s license suspension for up to one year, and a fine not exceeding $2,000. A second offense is a Class A misdemeanor, while a third or subsequent offense is a third-degree felony.
Since there is no minimum level of intoxication for driving while impaired on illegal drugs or controlled substances, the prosecution must present evidence of actual impairment, rather than showing the presence of drugs in your system. Hidalgo County Defense Attorney Rene A. Flores of The Law Office of Rene A. Flores PLLC is the only DWI defense lawyer in the area who is a licensed Forensic Lawyer-Scientist, which makes him qualified to properly challenge the blood test results in drugged DWI cases and show the court that you were not intoxicated at the time of your arrest.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DWI in Hidalgo County, contact us today at (956) 606-3606 for a free initial consultation. Get a former prosecutor on your side immediately!