Driving under the Influence of Drugs in Texas


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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:

  • Alcohol

  • A controlled substance

  • A dangerous drug

  • A 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.

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