The Texas Penal Code defines driving while intoxicated in Chapter 49, as operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. Intoxication is defined in the penal code as not having the normal use of your mental faculties or physical faculties as the result of alcohol, a drug, a dangerous drug, or a combination of the two. Having a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher is also the definition of intoxicated.
Being Arrested for Drug Use in a DWI is Different than Being Arrested for Alcohol
When it comes to alcohol, there is fairly widespread agreement that driving at .08 or higher means you are driving while intoxicated. There is no similar way to measure when a person is intoxicated from the use of drugs.
Drug-based DWI Cases are Often Hotly Contested in Court
It is difficult for even a pharmacologist or scientist to tell when a person has lost the normal use of his or her physical faculties or mental faculties as a result of drug use. This difficulty does not stop the police from arresting people they believe are impaired as a result of drugs, and it does not stop prosecutors and judges from making reactions based more on the drugs involved than the behaviors involved. The fact is, once a jury hears that you were driving after smoking marijuana or after taking a Xanax, they will in most cases be ready to convict you.
How Do Prosecutors Prove Their Case?
Some police have training in detecting drug impairment, and they will testify at your trial as if they are qualified to diagnose you. Many officers also claim to understand this through on the job training and experience. This is not something a defense attorney should allow the police to get away with. We have objected to such testimony on behalf of clients and had it suppressed during trial.
How Do Courts Effectively Preside Over Drug-Related DWI Cases?
When DWI arrests are drug based, the first issue a judge must deal with is whether or not the other passenger has a right to speak and attend. Courts have ruled in favor of defendants, in some cases have even ruled that the use of medications is not admissible. At least one Texas court has found that medication is not admissible when alcohol is the main intoxicant. Even if we cannot have the case against you dismissed entirely, we can help minimize your liability. It is important to note that in the case of marijuana, any amount in your blood or urine while driving will establish that you were under the influence.
Have You Been Charged With a Drug-Related DWI?
If the answer is yes, do not despair. Things are not hopeless, especially if you retain an aggressive criminal defense lawyer. A second or subsequent DWI is a serious ramifications, so if you are in the Dallas, Forth Worth, or Plano area you might want to consider contacting an experienced Texas DUI attorney to help you with this. We understand that anyone can make a mistake, and we are ready to help you negotiate a settlement or take your case to trial.