Driving under the Influence of Drugs in Texas
When you think about driving under the influence, driving under the influence of alcohol likely comes to mind. Driving under the influence of drugs, however, is another common charge – with grave consequences.
Driving under the Influence of Drugs
The legal definition of intoxication in Texas involves not having regular control of your faculties – either physical or mental – due to introducing any one of the following (or any combination of the following) into your system:
A controlled substance
A dangerous drug
Any other substance (that can lead to the same physical or mental incapacity)
Intoxicants can be prescription, over-the-counter, and illegal drugs alike. Taking a prescribed medication and then getting behind the wheel is not unlawful. However, if that drug impairs your physical or mental functioning, it very well may be illegal by causing drowsiness as an example. Having a valid prescription for medication will in no way mitigate the driving under the influence of drugs charge if the drug leaves you impaired.
First Offense of Driving under the Influence of Drugs
Even a conviction for a first offense of driving under the influence of drugs can have serious consequences, including:
The loss of your license for up to a year
Fines of up to $2,000
Up to 180 days behind bars
Up to 100 hours of community service
A Second Violation
A second conviction is naturally even more consequential, and the penalties associated reflect this fact, including:
The loss of your license for up to two years
Fines of up to $4,000
Up to one year behind bars
Up to 200 hours of community service
Things only become more complicated from here.
Proof of Intoxication by Drugs
The fact is that there is no direct test or limit related to having an illegal amount of drugs in your system while you are behind the wheel. While the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) threshold is 0.08 percent, there is no legal equivalent for drugs. Further, because many intoxicants can remain detectable in the body for a considerable length of time (beyond the point of impairment), blood and urine tests are often highly problematic. Field sobriety tests that attempt to score your mental and physical functioning have also come under attack in this capacity. Cases frequently boil down to the officer identifying your driving as being consistent with impairment.
It Is Time to Consult with an Experienced Killeen Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing a charge of driving under the influence of drugs, you need help. At The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, we are dedicated to protect our clients rights. To schedule a consultation with an attorney, contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.