Although most people associate driving while intoxicated (DWI) with alcohol usage, you can also face DWI charges for driving while impaired by drugs, whether they are illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter medications. Drugged driving can result in the same charges and penalties as drunk driving.
Texas law does not establish a clear standard for impairment by drugs. As a result, law enforcement officers must make arrests for drugged driving based on personal observations, field sobriety tests, and blood or urine tests. Since these test results may be subjective, misleading, or inaccurate, an experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to challenge their credibility. If you were arrested for driving while impaired by drugs, you may wish to contact a Fort Worth DWI drug lawyer for legal assistance right away.
Evidence in DWI Drug Cases
Unlike the 0.08 BAC standard for alcohol-related DWIs, there is no specific level a drug that provides proof of impairment. However, blood and urine tests can still provide evidence of intoxication in some circumstances. When combined with the observations of law enforcement officers at the time of the traffic stop, test results showing high levels of a drug in a driver’s system can constitute evidence of likely impairment.
If blood and urine tests show only trace amounts of a drug, and the drivers show little or no other signs of impairment, then it is possible that their ability to drive is not impaired. In these cases, a DWI drug attorney in Fort Worth may be able to raise a strong defense.
Penalties for Drug DWIs in Fort Worth
The penalties for drug and alcohol-related DWIs are the same. For a first-offense, the penalties include a jail sentence ranging from 72 hours to 180 days, a $2,000 fine, and a license suspension. A second offense DWI is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by 30 days to 12 months in jail, a $4,000 fine, and a license suspension.
For third or subsequent DWI offenses, the charges increase to a third-degree felony that carries the potential for two to ten years in prison, $10,000 in fines, and a license suspension. A DWI drug lawyer in Fort Worth may be able to provide advice and guidance to individuals who are facing DWI charges, whether they are a first or subsequent offense.
Individuals may face other repercussions in addition to incarceration, fines, and license suspension, which can be very costly. For example, individuals may be required to complete mandatory community service hours, install an ignition interlock device following any period of license suspension, participate in a drug or alcohol assessment, and complete any recommended counseling or treatment.
Call a Fort Worth DWI Drug Attorney for Advice
Facing charges for DWI due to drug impairment can be stressful and frightening. The potential consequences of a conviction are severe, and you likely want to avoid them at all costs. A Fort Worth DWI drug lawyer may be able to discredit the evidence against you and work toward a more favorable resolution of the charges in your case.
To discuss your legal options, reach out to an aggressive defense attorney and schedule a consultation.