Posted on 9/30/19

Like all other states, Texas has strict laws when it comes to driving under the influence. The laws prevent drivers from using certain drinks and substances before and during driving. The penalties for breaking these laws can range from civil fines to jail time. In addition to drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs, Texas laws define when marijuana can be used for medical reasons and when a person can becharged with driving under the influence.

The Legality of Marijuana in Texas

Texas does not allow the use of marijuana for recreational or medical purposes. Even if a person is caught with a very small amount of the drug, he or she can be arrested and punished for possession of marijuana. The prohibition of these substances applies specifically to marijuana that contains THC. THC is the chemical that causes the psychoactive reaction. The laws, do not, however, apply to CBD, or cannabinoid oil, which is allowed for medical use.

TheCompassionate Use Act in Texas allows CBD oil to be used to treat epilepsy, muscle spasticity, terminal cancer, any type of neurodegenerative disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, autism, and multiple sclerosis. In addition, Texans and visitors can use it legally to treat conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain, inflammation, seizures, and psychosis.

Marijuana Use and DUI

Anyone in Texas who is found to be under the influence of marijuana when driving will be charged with driving under the influence. In Texas, driving under the influence does not apply to only people that drive under the influence of alcohol. It also applies to those who are under the influence of over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, or illegal drugs. Law enforcement officials can stop and question a driver if they show signs of intoxication. Signs of intoxication may include the following:

  • Overcompensating

  • Driving too slowly or speeding

  • Losing control of the vehicle

  • Slow reaction time

  • Weaving in and out of traffic

  • Impaired cognitive function

  • Failing to pay attention

Contrary to what many people believe, it does not take a significant amount of marijuana use to result in these reactions. They can occur when ingesting as little as two ng/ml.

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

If you are found to be under the influence of marijuana, you could facesteep civil fines and even jail time, even if you are a visitor to the state. First time offenders may receive up to 180 days in jail and a fine as high as $2,000. The penalties increase with each offense. Second time offenders will see a fine of up to $4,000 and as long as one year in jail. You will only be charged with a second time offense if your first one occurred within the previous five years. The penalties get even worse for third time offenders. Third-time offenders can receive fines up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in prison.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today

With the steep penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, or other drugs, you need to have experienced legal representation on your side. The attorneys atAbel Law Firm can help you get the best possible outcome for your charges. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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