Most Texas drivers are at least somewhat familiar with our state’s laws against drunk driving, but they may be less familiar with the concept of drugged driving. Anyone who has been accused of DWI should understand what is considered drugged driving and how they can protect themselves from drug DWI charges.
Not just alcohol
Under Texas law, DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated,” and recognizes that drivers may become unsafe under the influence of substances in addition to alcohol. Driving under the influence of drugs, including prescription drugs in certain instances, can result in drug DWI charges. What are known as drug recognition experts, or DREs, are specially trained police officers who are trained to follow specific guidelines to determine if motorists are impaired by drugs. To determine drug impairment, the DRE will closely examine the eye movements of the accused driver in addition to their behavior and other possible cues that could point to them being under the influence of drugs. Drug analysis can also be conducted using a blood or urine sample.
Whenever a driver is charged with driving under the influence, including driving under the influence of drugs, they may have a fight on their hands. They can quickly wind up losing their driver’s license and face other possible penalties and consequences including jail time and fines. It is important for accused drivers to know how to challenge the charges they are facing.
A strong criminal defense strategy can help accused drivers challenge the evidence being used against them and the allegations of drugged or drunk driving. Developing a criminal defense response is unique to each situation which is why drivers should immediately begin preparing their criminal defense following a DWI arrest.