Dallas Drugged Driving Attorney
Protecting the Rights of Clients Facing DWI Charges
The acronym DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated.” Although the term “intoxicated” generally refers to alcohol-related impairment, it can actually refer to impairment caused by any type of drug. When an individual is physically or mentally incapable of safely operating a vehicle because of the presence of one or more drugs in his or her system, he or she may be pulled over and charged with DWI.
One important difference to note between an alcohol DWI and a DWI for another drug is that in Texas, there is no blood testing standard for drugs other than alcohol. So while a driver is legally too impaired to drive when his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher, whether a driver is too impaired by another drug to drive is largely at the prosecutor’s discretion.
How do Different Drugs Impair Drivers?
Different types of drug have different effects on drivers. When you are prescribed medication, do not drive after using the medication until you have discussed its effects with your doctor.
Sleep aids can make an individual drowsy and impair his or her mental faculties. A driver can also experience dizziness, headaches, and difficulty paying attention after using a sleep aid, sometimes even the morning after taking the drug.
Marijuana slows a driver’s reaction time, coordination, judgment, and decision-making skills. When marijuana is combined with alcohol, the driver is often substantially impaired.
Opioids like OxyContin, Percocet, and heroin can impair a driver’s cognition and alter how a driver is affected by glares, making it difficult for him or her to drive at night.
Penalties for a DWI Conviction in Texas
The penalties an individual faces for a DWI conviction depend on whether he or she is a minor or an adult. If your son or daughter is under 21 and facing a DWI charge, work with an experienced juvenile defense lawyer to defend his or her case.
For adults, the penalties for a first time DWI offense are:
- Driver’s license suspension for up to two years;
- Fines of up to $2,000;
- Between three and 180 days in jail;
- An annual surcharge of $2,000 for three years to remain a licensed Texas driver; and
- Potentially, a required ignition interlock device in the driver’s vehicle or required alcohol education courses
For a second or subsequent conviction, the driver faces steeper penalties that include up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Aggravating factors for a DWI charge include impaired driving with a child in the vehicle and seriously harming or killing another person in an intoxicated driving collision.
Work with an Experienced Dallas DWI Defense Lawyer
A DWI conviction can change your life. When you are facing a DWI charge, be proactive and start working with an experienced DWI defense lawyer as soon as possible to begin developing your legal defense strategy. Contact J. Michael Price II today to set up your initial consultation in our office, during which we can go over every aspect of your case to determine the most effective way to proceed.