Can You Get a DWI for Driving High?
Texas authorities aggressively enforce laws regarding driving while intoxicated (DWI). While DWI charges are closely associated with driving after drinking alcohol, these allegations can also arise from driving while you are impaired by any other type of intoxicating substances. This includes illegal drugs and also, drugs for which you have a valid prescription.
When an officer stops your vehicle, they will be looking for any signs of impairment – by alcohol or drugs. Many DWI arrests and charges stem from people suspected of driving high. Some drugs that are commonly involved in these cases include:
- Opioid painkillers
No matter what substance was involved, you can face harsh penalties for DWI involving drugs, even for a first offense.
How Do Police Prove You were High?
There is no legal limit for driving while intoxicated by drugs like there is for alcohol. So how do authorities prove that you were impaired while driving? It depends on the substance involved. If you have a prescription for the drug, proving impairment will depend largely on the officer’s observations of sleepiness, dizziness, disorientation, and other signs of impairment.
If you are suspected of using an illegal substance or a drug for which you do not have a prescription, any amount of the drug in your system can result in a DWI charge. Because these substances are illegal, there is no tolerance for even trace amounts in your system. If a blood test comes back positive at all, you will likely face criminal charges.
This can be a serious problem, however, as some drugs can stay in your system for days or weeks after you use them. For instance, if you take a ski trip to Colorado, you might decide to partake in marijuana use, which is legal within that state. You fly home and two days later are pulled over by an officer who suspects you have been using drugs. A blood test still shows signs of marijuana from your vacation, so you face charges for DWI when, in reality, you did nothing wrong in either state.
Because there are so many issues with the way authorities prove DWI while you are supposedly high, it is critical that you seek the representation of a highly skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Just like with alcohol-related DWI cases, there are ways to defend against your charges to avoid severe penalties, which may include costly fines, probation, or jail time.
Learn How a Denton DWI Defense Lawyer Can Help Right Away
Police officers are constantly on the lookout for drivers who are intoxicated by either alcohol or drugs, and you can expect prosecutors to aggressively pursue convictions and serious penalties. If you are arrested for DWI in the Denton area, you should not wait to call the Law Office of Brent D. Bowen, PLLC. Call 940-222-2488 or contact us online to discuss the circumstances of your case today.