Can I Be Charged with a DWI for Drug Use?

When most people think of a driving while intoxicated charge in Texas, they associate the offense with the consumption of alcohol. And while it is true that most DWI offenses involve alcohol, it’s important to note that a person can be charged with DWI even if they’re not drinking and haven’t consumed alcohol that day. Here’s what you should know about DWIs and the law, as well as what to do if you’re arrested for a DWI for drug use in Texas. 

What Constitutes a Driving While Intoxicated Offense in Texas?

As found on the Texas Department of Transportation’s website, a person is in violation of the law and is legally intoxicated in Texas when their blood alcohol content is .08 percent or greater and they are operating a motor vehicle. However, you can also be arrested, charged with, and convicted of a DWI if drugs (or alcohol, for that matter) impact your ability to safely operate a vehicle, regardless of how much is in your system. 

This means that if you use any drugs, recreationally, medically, or even prescription drugs, you can be arrested and charged with a DWI if those drugs impact your ability to safely operate your motor vehicle. If the drugs are prohibited under the controlled substance laws in Texas, you may also face drug charges in addition to DWI charges.

What Are Defenses to Driving While Impaired from Drugs?

If you are charged with a DWI from drugs, you may be able to defend yourself against charges by proving that:

  • You did not consume drugs;
  • The blood results were improperly obtained or were contaminated;
  • The police did not have grounds to stop you;
  • Evidence against you was unlawfully seized;
  • You were not impaired by the drugs;
  • You had no knowledge that the drugs would impact your ability to drive—for example, if you took a prescription drug and were unaware of the side effects. 

How Can a DWI Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?

When you are facing charges for a DWI, drug crime, open container violation, or other misdemeanor or felony crime, you need an attorney on your side. Your attorney can review your case, review the prosecution’s evidence against you, guide you through your legal options, help you to understand potential consequences, build your defense, enter a plea bargain on your behalf, and represent you before the court. Your attorney can also make sure that all evidence submitted to the court was lawfully obtained and ensure that your Constitutional rights are protected throughout the process. 

Call Our Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you’ve been charged with a DWI, be sure to reach out to our Texas criminal defense lawyer at the office of Tad Nelson directly today. We serve clients in Houston, Galveston, League City, and the surrounding areas of Texas. You can reach us by phone or online to schedule a consultation at your convenience.