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Impaired driving charges for substances other than alcohol

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2020 | DWI Defense

Gone are the days when a citation for driving under the influence was only an alcohol-related charge. Police officers in Texas and other states are trained to be aware when a driver is potentially affected by other types of chemicals and prescription drugs as well. These charges can be just as damaging to defendants who are convicted, which largely happens only on the testimony of arresting police officers when no blood analysis evidence is provided. While some suspects refuse a blood test, making them subject to immediate suspension of driving privileges, there could still be no physical evidence to support an officer claim of impairment on any level.

This situation happens far too often in Texas. While some drivers will actually comply with an officer’s request for a blood test, the results may not be valid if there is no accompanying warrant appropriately signed by a judge. Some officers will not take the time to follow the search and seizure rules, which are very plain regarding blood tests for suspected impaired drivers. These are the types of details that might result in a DWI charge being dismissed when an attorney handles the criminal defense case.

It is important to understand that it is unlawful to drive under the influence of legal prescription drugs or illegal drugs. The authorization to possess a drug does not include the authorization to drive while taking it. Drug latency measurements are not necessarily material evidence in a DWI case like a BAC test is in an alcohol-related DUI charge.

Experienced DWI attorneys in Texas understand this scenario and may look for a technicality or a lack of physical evidence to establish significant reasonable doubt in a DWI case. A defendant may want to retain a criminal defense attorney to help defend against the charges, especially when there are extenuating circumstances.