When most people think of DWI or driving while intoxicated charges, they think of driving while under the influence of alcohol. However, an individual in Dallas who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or controlled substances can also be charged with DWI in Texas. Some of the most common drug-related DWI offenses can include, but are not limited to:
It is important to remember that even driving while under the influence of prescription medication can lead to a DWI arrest. Further, if an individual drives their car after taking prescription pills and consuming even a glass of wine, liquor or beer they can be charged with DWI or DUI, even if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is below the legal limit.
If you have been charged with DWI drugs or controlled substances, contact an experienced Dallas DWI attorney. They may be able to identify mitigating factors or defenses that can result in a reduction of your charges or even a dismissal.
Drug Related DWI Defense Lawyer in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, TX
If you have been charged with a DWI from drugs or controlled substances contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Drugs in Dallas
Under Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.04, an individual can be charged with driving while intoxicated, DWI, DUI, or driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances if they operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated in a public place. This offense is typically a Class B misdemeanor.
Texas law defines intoxicated as not being able to use normal mental or physical faculties due to the consumption of alcohol, drugs, dangerous drugs, controlled substances or any combination. Normal faculties are typically walking, talking, driving, balancing, and any motor skills.
A motor vehicle is defined in Texas as anything used to transport people or property, except for vehicles on stationary rails or tracks. Therefore, motor vehicles can include cars, boats, and airplanes, but does not include trains.
An individual must have actual physical control of the vehicle in order to be in operation of the vehicle. This means they have to be in or near the vehicle with the capability to operate the vehicle, even if they weren’t actually driving the vehicle when they were arrested.
Common Fort Worth DWI Drugs
Typically if an individual is charged with DWI from the use of drugs, their chemical blood test will show they were under the influence of any variety of illegal drugs or medications when they were arrested, or the substances were still in their system. Some of the most common drugs found in DWI toxicology tests include the following:
Prescription Pills / Medications
- Psilocybin or Magic Mushrooms
- LSD or Acid
DWI Testing for Drugs in Fort Worth
When an individual is pulled over for DWI in Dallas, the law enforcement officer may take the alleged offender’s blood sample to test for the presence of illegal drugs or medications if the driver passed field sobriety tests or passed a chemical breath test with an alcohol concentration level under the legal limit of .08.
DWI drug testing is typically done through a process called gas chromatography. This process compares the driver’s blood sample to a control blood sample. Under Texas law, only certain individuals are permitted to take a blood sample when one is requested by a peace officer. However, according to § 724.013 of the Texas Transportation Code, if an individual refuses to give their blood sample for DWI testing, it cannot be taken against their will, except in certain situations.
If your chemical blood test shows there were chemical substances in your blood when operating a motor vehicle, this does not mean you will be convicted of drug DWI. Inaccuracies may arise from DWI chemical blood testing.
If a person who drew the blood is not permitted or qualified to, the results of the blood test may be thrown out at trial. Additionally, blood samples that were taken in a hospital following a car accident are taken from blood serum and not the whole blood, which is often a less accurate measurement.
Further, the blood samples only show the substances in the blood, which may still be present from previous use. They do not directly indicate the driver was under the influence or intoxicated by drugs when they were operating the motor vehicle.
Dallas Penalties for DWI Controlled Substances
First DWI drugs in Texas can result in a Class B misdemeanor charge, which is punishable by a mandatory minimum term of 72 hours in jail and up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine not more than $2,000, according to Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code.
A drug DWI conviction can require a minimum jail sentence of six days if the individual had an open alcoholic container in their vehicle at the time they were arrested for the offense.
A second drugged DWI charge can result in a Class A misdemeanor conviction, which is punishable by a mandatory minimum term of 30 days in jail and a maximum of one year in jail and/or a fine not more than $4,000.
A third drug DWI or intoxication assault from the use of drugs can result in a third-degree felony conviction, which is punishable by a term of two to ten years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
Intoxication manslaughter from the use of drugs can result in a second-degree felony conviction, which is punishable by a term of two to 20 years in prison and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
Additional punishments for any drug DWI offense can include, but is not limited to the following:
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Community supervision or probation
- Community service
- Requirements to attend an approved drug education program
- DWI school
- Automatic license suspension for six months plus possible additional suspension time
- Court costs
- A criminal record
Resources for Drug DUI in Dallas
Texas Penal Code – Drug DWI – This link is to section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code, which defines driving while intoxicated from drugs, alcohol, or a combination of drugs and alcohol in Texas and the potential penalties for a conviction. The Texas Penal Code contains all of the criminal laws in Texas; Chapter 49 pertains to all of the state’s intoxication laws.
Texas Transportation Code – This link is to Chapter 724 of the Texas Transportation Code, which defines Texas’ implied consent laws, including who is qualified to perform chemical blood tests, who is permitted to refuse to test, and who is required to submit to chemical testing.
Texas Drug Offender Education Program – This link is for general information about DWI drug offender education programs and access to search for programs in Dallas. The program, designed by the Texas Department of State Health Services, is required by all drugged DWI offenders before they can reinstate their license.
Collin County DWI/Drug Court – This program is for certain impaired drivers who have been charged with drug DWI offenses in Collin County and provides intensive supervision services and treatment to repeat offenders and drug and alcohol abuse. These programs are typically more lenient than traditional punishments. The Drug Court is located at:
Collin County Court at Law 51800 North Graves St.
McKinney, Texas 75069
Phone: (972) 548-3850
Find A Dallas County Defense Attorney for Drug-Related DWI Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas.