The support for legalized marijuana is more widespread than ever, but marijuana remains illegal in Texas except for some medicinal purposes. One reason for its continued ban is to protect Texas roadways from the hazards drugged driving. Drugged driving may be less widely discussed than drunk driving, but it can be just as dangerous.
Drugged driving can also carry serious legal consequences for any Texan who attempts it. Law enforcement does not look kindly on drivers who get behind the wheel while high. In this post, we'll examine some of the risks of drugged driving, and what could happen if you are accused of it.
Defining drugged driving
So, what exactly counts as drugged driving? Technically, the state's drugged driving law prohibits the use of controlled substances and drugs while operating a motorized vehicle. Determining whether a driver was under the influence of drugs is usually determined by a urine sample or blood test.
The dangers of drugged driving
Some drivers mistakenly believe that marijuana or other drugs do not impair their ability to drive, but this couldn't be more wrong. Marijuana has been shown to delay drivers' reaction time, impair judgment and decrease coordination. Stimulants like cocaine and amphetamine can cause aggression and recklessness. Drivers under the influence of sedatives display dizziness, drowsiness an even loss of consciousness. Any one of these side effects could easily lead to a serious-or even fatal-crash.
The penalties for drugged driving in Texas
If you are arrested for drugged driving, you may be charged with driving while intoxicated, otherwise known as a DWI. If convicted, you face the state's DWI penalties-and they can be harsh. The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs include:
- A fine of up to $10,000
- Up to 10 years in prison
- License suspension for up to two years
- Mandatory drug education, assessment and treatment
- Vehicle confiscation
- An ignition interlock device