When people think of driving while intoxicated (DWI), the substance causing the intoxication is often alcohol. However, driving
under the influence can also include drugs, including those that are legal.
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 alcohol or any controlled substance. Just because someone has a valid
prescription, doesn't mean that they can drive while under the influence
of that medication.
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 potential substances and seek assistance
from a drug recognition expert (DRE) to several tests in an attempt 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.