Texas police officers can arrest people for a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense based on alcohol intoxication or impairment caused by drugs. In many ways, DWI charges are largely the same regardless of what substance affects someone’s driving ability. A judge can impose the same penalties for drugged driving as they might for drunk driving based on the situation and someone’s driving record.
However, there are a few details that are different in drugged driving cases as opposed to drunk driving cases in Texas. One rule, in particular, can have implications for the likelihood of someone’s prosecution and also their options for a defense.
There is no per se limit for drug use
Those facing alcohol-related DWI charges in Texas may have caused a crash, driven in an unsafe manner or failed a chemical test. Simply having too much alcohol in one’s bloodstream is enough reason for the state to prosecute someone, even if they claim to have a high alcohol tolerance.
The per se blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Texas gives police officers the authority to arrest someone simply for being over the legal limit. Those facing DWI charges might try to challenge the accuracy of the test results to prove they did not break the law. That will almost certainly not be a viable strategy for someone who has been accused of being under the influence of controlled or prohibited substances. There is no per se limit for narcotic pain relievers, methamphetamine or other drugs that cause impairment. Any detectable amount of those substances in someone’s bloodstream could be justification for DWI charges.
Fighting back against Texas DWI charges requires an understanding of the unique rules that apply in different cases. Seeking legal guidance can help to provide that clarity.