There has been an increase in Midland DWI drug arrests over the last few years, and there is a high priority in all counties and local agencies to get DWI suspects off the streets. In January 2018, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration launched an initiative to combat drug-impaired driving. Because of the national opioid epidemic and marijuana being made legal in many states, NHTSA has made drug-impaired driving a high priority.
If you were charged with driving while intoxicated by drugs, you should retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney could fight to protect your rights and keep your record clean.
Difference Between Drug and Alcohol DWI Arrests
As far as law enforcement officers are concerned, there is no difference between driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of drugs. If a Midland law enforcement officer believes someone is drunk or intoxicated by a drug or substance, they arrest the individual for DWI.
Officers are trained to detect DWI related behaviors. As with an alcohol-related DWI, certain smells could cause the officer to suspect drugs. The officer may look through the vehicle to find evidence of drugs such as pills, or look for anything that fell on the floorboard. They run the person’s driver’s license to see if there are previous convictions of DWIs. They conduct the Standard Field Sobriety Tests to help them determine whether the individual has any drugs and/or alcohol in their system.
Standard Field Sobriety Tests
The same Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) that are administered in an alcohol DWI arrest are used to determine whether someone is under the influence of drugs. Commonly used sobriety tests are:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
- One-Leg Stand
These SFSTs are only correlated to a BAC of .08. They are not necessarily accurate for detecting impairment from drugs. For this reason, it is important to hire a skilled defense attorney who understands the science behind these tests. Generally, blood tests are the most accurate means of measuring the amount of drugs in a person’s body, and not SFSTs.
Marijuana DWI Cases
Marijuana-related drug cases are similar across most of the state, but Midland has a higher number of cases because of its proximity to the Colorado and New Mexico borders. Colorado and New Mexico have recently legalized medical marijuana, which resulted in an increase in marijuana-related drug cases.
Regulations across Texas are the same, but regulations across the United States have become more lenient towards marijuana. Unfortunately, individuals in Texas do not necessarily follow Texas laws. They believe that because they legally purchased marijuana in Colorado, it is legal to bring it to Texas. That is not true. Marijuana is not legal in Texas. The confusion about the legality of marijuana is spread across the United States. Each state has different rules and regulations.
The Texas legislators voted to not legalize marijuana, and people in Texas have convictions on drug-related charges. Because the regulations are stricter in Texas, it is imperative that someone charged with DWI or any drug-related arrest hires an experienced DWI drug lawyer.
Consult With a Midland Drug DWI Attorney
If you were involved in Midland DWI drug arrests, your next step should be to consult with a dedicated DWI attorney. They could look at the details of your case and craft a defense strategy tailored to your situation. A skilled lawyer could protect your rights and fight for a positive outcome to your case.