It is possible for individuals to receive a driving while impaired (DWI) charge for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Intoxication refers to the use of a dangerous drug or a combination of two or more substances to the point that the person lost the normal use of their mental or physical faculties. A person could be charged with drug-related impairment even if the drug is legal or prescribed. Usually, this does not differ for over-the-counter medications. Anything that causes the driver to lose the normal use of their mental or physical faculties could potentially be charged as a DWI. If a driver’s impairment is the result of drugs and alcohol interacting, it is still a DWI.
These drugs could be legal or illegal drugs, and if they make the person an unsafe driver, they could be charged with a DWI. If you were accused of driving under the influence of drugs, a Denton DWI drug lawyer could help. A well-practiced DWI attorney could fight for you.
Penalties for Drug DWIs in Denton
Drug DWIs typically do not differ from alcohol DWIs and are treated the exact same by law enforcement and prosecutors. If a person is accused of their first offense DWI, potential penalties may include a class B misdemeanor, which may lead to up to 180 days in jail. If the defendant is facing a second offense DWI, the penalties may include a minimum of 30 days and up to one year in the county jail that could be probated. There could be shock jail time required. While the range of punishment for a felony is typically 2-10 years in jail, there is no difference between the punishment between alcohol or drugs or a combination.
Challenging Drug DWI Charges
One of the biggest mistakes to avoid in a drug DWI case is to not challenge the science. Even if there is a drug result that comes back from a lab, it may not be enough to say there was a presence of 0.05 nanograms of the THC. In this case, the government may need to enlist the help of an expert who has the qualifications to testify that the finding of 0.05 nanograms of THC means that the accused person lost their normal use of their mental or physical faculties. This may be difficult for the government to do since every prescription drug is different and may need to be challenged.
Involuntary intoxication could be a defense for a drug DWI. Given that it is involuntary, it may be a potential defense if the person was coerced or threatened to drink alcohol. Reach out to a Denton DWI drug lawyer for help with challenging these types of charges.
How Authorities May Test for the Presence of Drugs
Authorities in Denton use many different methods to test for the presence of drugs. One of the most common ways is the field sobriety tests. There is also a process called a drug recognition expert (DRE) examination the could be conducted if a qualified officer is available. A DRE examination is more focused on drugs than alcohol usage. Authorities could also test for the presence of drugs by conducting a blood test voluntarily or through a warrant. The blood will be tested by the lab not only for the alcohol but for the presence of certain categories of drugs.
Contact an Experienced Denton Drug DWI Lawyer
If you have been accused of driving under the influence of drugs, call a seasoned Denton drug DWI lawyer today. An experienced attorney could fight for you and help you build a strong defense. A well-established lawyer will know which arguments to raise and how to fight against these serious charges. Call today and set up your initial consultation.