Texas is no different than any other state in the union in its application of strict laws that prohibit motorists from driving under the influence of alcohol and a variety of other drugs, including marijuana – even medical marijuana. In Texas, impaired motorists are subject to harsh penalties that can include steep fines, jail time, and loss of license. Understanding Texas laws can help you avoid DUI charges and the penalties associated with a conviction.
Marijuana Laws in Texas
While some states have legalized medical marijuana and others have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana, neither are legal in the State of Texas. In fact, both residents and visitors who are caught with even a small amount of marijuana in their possession should expect to be penalized. The state’s prohibition of marijuana only applies to that marijuana that contains THC, the substance that leads to a psychoactive reaction – not to CBD or cannabidiol oil, which can be used for medical purposes in Texas.
If you are pulled over in Texas under suspicion of being impaired, you can be charged with driving under the influence of marijuana. A charge of DUI is not reserved for those who have at least a .08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC). If the officer witnesses signs of marijuana intoxication, he or she can pull you over for suspicion of DUI. The associated signs include:
- Overcompensating for your intoxication
- Losing control of your vehicle
- Driving too slowly
- Weaving in and out of your lane
- Exhibiting increased reaction times
- Failing to pay attention to the traffic all around you
- Exhibiting impaired cognitive functioning
The fact is that even a small amount of marijuana can lead to signs of intoxication while driving.
If you are convicted of marijuana possession in addition to DUI, you also face considerable penalties related to possession that include:
- If you are convicted of possession of up to two ounces of marijuana, it is a Class B misdemeanor that comes with a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail.
- If you are convicted of possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana, it is a Class A misdemeanor that comes with fines of up to $8,000 and up to one year in jail.
The penalties grow steadily more serious from here, and if you are also convicted of a DUI, it naturally compounds the issue.