Drug-Related DWI & Drugged Driving
Defense Lawyers for Drugged Driving Charges in Fort Worth TX
If you have been arrested for a DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, and your police officer had probable cause to believe that you were intoxicated as a result of a controlled substance, drug, a dangerous drug, or a combination of two or more drugs, you could be charged with drug DWI. Many people are surprised to learn that any medication, including over-the-counter medicine and legally-prescribed (prescription) medications, that may cause impairment during driving could be the basis for a DWI arrest and conviction.
Drugged driving is a serious charge, carrying with it the same fines and penalties as a DWI involving alcohol. If you or someone you know is facing drugged driving charges, call an experienced drug DWI lawyer immediately. You shouldn’t have to suffer such severe consequences for driving while on cold medicine or prescription medication that your doctor instructed you to take. Unfortunately, Texas laws regarding driving under the influence of drugs and driving under the influence of alcohol are not unique.
Difference Between DWI & Drugged Driving in Texas
Although many people believe that driving while high or under the influence of a drug is a separate crime from DWI, Texas law makes no distinction in the charge or the punishment range for a drug-related DWI arrest and a DWI arrest based upon alcohol. If you have been arrested for a drugged driving or drug DWI, you will face the same range of punishment and mandatory driver’s license suspensions as those charged with an alcohol-related DWI. Reach out to a drug DWI lawyer as soon after your arrest as possible so they can start building your defense.
The primary difference between an alcohol-related DWI and a drug-related DWI is the way the prosecution will be required to prove your possible intoxication. Generally, police officers and Drug Recognition Experts that have been trained to handle drug-related DWI’s have been taught to look for the following types of drugs when considering a DWI arrest:
- Central Nervous System Depressants (ex. Alcohol, Barbiturates, Anxiety and Depression Medication – Valium, Xanax, Librium, etc.)
- Central Nervous System Stimulants (ex. Cocaine, Amphetamines and Methamphetamine
- Hallucinogens (ex. LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, MDMA/Ecstacy)
- PCP or Phencyclidine
- Narcotic Analgesics (ex. Heroin, Morphine, Codeine, Demerol, Methadone, Opium)
- Inhalants (ex. Gasoline, Glue, Paint, Hairspray, etc.)
- Cannabis (ex. Marijuana, Hashish, Cush, Marinol)
Field Sobriety Tests Used in Texas to Indicate Drug Intoxication
Most officers that handle drug-related DWI stops and arrests are not thoroughly trained as to how to handle and detect signs of drug-related intoxication. For example, officers are trained to administer standardized field sobriety tests during drug-related DWI stops.
However, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test is only a valid predictor of intoxication if certain drugs are involved: Central Nervous System Depressants, PCP and Inhalants. The HGN is not a valid indicator of intoxication if the following drugs are involved: Stimulants, Hallucinogens, Narcotic Analgesics and Cannabis.
How Can Intoxication Be Measured or Proven in Drug DWI Cases?
Proving a drug-related DWI or drugged driving allegation in Texas is not as simple as obtaining a blood or breath test of more than 0.08 like it is for alcohol. Unlike alcohol, drugs and the combination of different drugs affect people in different ways that do not always result in intoxication.
Many times, if a blood or urine test is not obtained after your DWI arrest, the prosecution is required to prove your drug intoxication by having an officer testify to certain behavior that he believed indicated your intoxication.
Although the prosecution will call a state toxicologist to testify to the general signs of intoxication for your suspected drug(s), without a detailed blood or urine test indicating the amount of the suspected drug(s) in your system, the prosecution will be asking the jury to take circumstantial evidence of your behavior at the DWI stop and conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving while intoxicated.
Contact a Defense Lawyer Experienced with Drugged Driving Cases
If you have been charged with a drug-related DWI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine or in the surrounding cities in Tarrant County, you need a drug-related DWI lawyer that is experienced with drugged driving cases. Having a legal team of former Tarrant County prosecutors that have tried over 100 DWI jury trials in the courts of Tarrant County, Texas, heading your defense can make the difference between a guilty or not guilty verdict.
At The Hampton Law Firm, our law practice is different from other firms because we provide the citizens of Tarrant County with a DWI trial team approach that evens the odds and provides the best possible DWI defense for your drug-related DWI case. Call The Hampton Law Firm now for a free consultation.