Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
In Texas, there are two types of charges associated with impaired driving; DWI and DUI. DWI stands for driving while intoxicated, and typically that means intoxicated from alcohol. DUI, or driving under the influence, may be used to refer to driving while on a drug or chemical substance.
No matter whether the charges are DWI or DUI, the penalties are equally severe. Do not risk your freedom or your future. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you need the Austin, TX DWI defense attorneys at Minton, Burton, Bassett, & Collins, P.C. Call us today at (512) 476-4873 or contact us via email. We can help you with your DWI or DUI case in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, Caldwell, Burnet and Comal counties.
The law defines intoxication as being caused by alcohol, a drug, or by a combination of drugs and alcohol – and thus a DWI charge can be applicable in a drug or alcohol case. However, DUI is more commonly associated with drug-related driving charges – or, in reference to a minor who is under the influence of alcohol but not legally intoxicated.
Certain prescription drugs may cause you to fail field sobriety tests, such as the "Horizontal Nystagmus test," in which you are asked to follow the officer's pen with your eyes. If your prescription medication causes your eyes to jerk during the test, the officer may assume you are intoxicated and charge you with DUI.
How can intoxication be proven without test results showing a blood alcohol level (BAC)? There are three ways the state can establish intoxication, whether by drugs or alcohol:
- Proving that you did not have normal use of physical faculties
- Proving that you did not have normal use of mental faculties
- BAC of .08 or higher
If you were taking a prescription drug at the time of your arrest, you may have to document the details of your prescription, your medical history as well as how much you had to drink and eat prior to your stop. Simply proving that you were taking only prescribed medication isn't enough, especially if your medication is labelled to indicate a potential impairment of driving ability. The arresting officer can use the results of your field sobriety tests to argue that you didn't have normal use of your faculties.
Representation by a skilled Texas criminal defense firm is vital. The lawyers at Minton, Burton, Bassett, & Collins have handled drunk driving and DUI cases for more than four decades. We know how to contest field sobriety test results, and which prescription medications are most likely to produce false readings. We work with qualified experts to evaluate any prescription drugs you were taking at the time of your arrest and determine their impact on your driving behavior.
If you or a family member has been charged with a DUI, you have 15 days from the date the arresting officer serves you with a notice of suspension to request a hearing to contest the suspension or your license will be suspended. Usually, the deadline to request a hearing is 15 days after your DWI arrest.
Contact the Texas drunk driving attorneys at MBFC now by calling (512) 476-4873 or contact us via email.
We have 45 years of experience representing clients in Austin, TX and the surrounding communities, including: Travis County (Creedmoor, Elroy, Manor, Pflugerville); Williamson County (Cedar Park, Georgetown, Liberty Hill, Florence, Leander, Round Rock, Taylor); Hays County (Buda, Dripping Springs, Kyle, San Marcos, Wimberley); Bastrop County (Bastrop, Clearview, Elgin, Rockne, Smithville); Caldwell County (Lockhart, Luling); Burnet County (Bertram, Burnet, Marble Falls); and Comal County (Bulverde, Canyon Lake, Gruene, New Braunfels, Sattler, Startzville).