When people think of driving while intoxicated (DWI), the first thing that often comes to mind is drinking and driving. However,
driving under the influence can also include drugs, including those that
According to Texas DWI law, it is unlawful for any person to operate or
be in the actual control of any motor vehicle while under the influence
of alcoholic liquor or ANY drug. Having a valid prescription is not a
legal defense to a DWI charge.
There are many drugs that—when taken as prescribed—can cause
you to be impaired. Narcotic pain pills such as OxyContin, tranquilizers
like Vicodin, sleep medication such as Ambien and Seroquel, anti-anxiety
medications like Xanax, antidepressants, cough medicines such as Nyquil,
and many other medications can impair your ability to operate a vehicle.
Some common drug side effects that can impair your ability to drive include:
- Blurred vision
- Delayed or slowed movement
- Inability to focus or pay attention
If you are on prescription medication when the police stop you, they may
investigate you for a traditional alcohol DWI by performing field sobriety
tests or make you take a breathalyzer test. If you pass the breathalyzer
test, they may investigate other possible substances and contact a drug
recognition expert (DRE) to conduct a battery of tests to try to determine
what type of medications or other drugs you may be on. The last step will
either be submitting a blood or urine sample.
A first offense DWI on prescription drugs is punishable by a maximum jail
sentence of 180 days, fines of up to $2,000, and license suspension for
up to two years.
If you have been arrested for a DWI in Texas,
contact The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C. and request a
free consultation with our College Station criminal defense attorney today.