DWI Charges and Substances Other than Alcohol

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When you think about DWI charges, your mind might naturally go to charges that relate to being over the limit for alcohol (a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent and above). While alcohol is the most common culprit when it comes to DWI charges, there are plenty of other substances that will suffice. In truth, the most important component of any DWI charge is proof of impairment – by whatever happens to be impairing you.

Other Common Sources of Impairment

There are a variety of substances that are commonly cited in impairment charges in the State of Texas.


While many people try to convince themselves that they are better drivers when they have some marijuana in their systems, this is simply not the case. Further, while marijuana is gaining legal status in many places across the country, it remains illegal in the State of Texas, and it is always illegal to drive while impaired (regardless of what the substance is that causes you to be impaired). Some of the dangerous effects of marijuana behind the wheel include:

  • A reduction in one’s coordination

  • Slowed reaction times

  • Poor judgment

  • An inability to multitask

Cocaine and Methamphetamine

Cocaine and methamphetamine are both stimulants that are illegal across the nation and can cause serious impairment, including the following dangerous effects:

  • Recklessness

  • Aggressiveness

Both of these can prove fatal behind the wheel.

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications

Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications are not illegal in and of themselves (unless you obtain them illegally), but they are associated with impairments (that correlate with how your body reacts to them and to the amount you have taken). Some of the most common forms of impairment associated with these drugs include:

  • Extreme drowsiness

  • Significant dizziness

  • Other side effects that are listed on the drug’s warning label

Combining Drugs and/or Mixing Them with Alcohol

The effects of drugs tend to be amplified when they are combined together and/or are mixed with alcohol, and the level of impairment that results can be debilitating to the motorist.

In Addition to the DWI Charge

It is important to keep in mind that if you are charged with impairment in relation to marijuana, another illegal drug, and/or prescription medication that was illegally obtained, you may also face possession charges, which can complicate your case considerably.

Seek the Professional Legal Counsel of an Experienced Killeen Criminal Lawyer

If you are facing a DWI charge – for alcohol or any other substance – it is a serious matter for which a conviction can have serious financial and social consequences (and can lead to jail time). Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Killeen, Texas – is a dedicated criminal lawyer who understands the gravity of your situation and is well prepared to help you obtain your case’s most beneficial resolution. For more information about what we can do to help you, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.
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