DUI: Driving While High in Austin & Texas Law

Just like when a person operates a vehicle intoxicated by alcohol, driving a car while under the influence of drugs is illegal in all states in the U.S. You can get arrested for a DUI for driving on any drug including marijuana and legal prescription drugs. “According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2016 11.8 million people drove under the influence of illicit drugs.”

A study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that “more than 18 percent of fatally injured drivers tested positive for at least one illegal or prescription drug in 2009.” Driving while under the influence of drugs is just as dangerous as driving drunk and is taken just as seriously by the law.

For this reason, law enforcement has ramped up DUI enforcement efforts in Austin, leading to many wrongful arrests. If you or a loved were wrongfully arrested in Austin for a DUI offense, contact The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski as soon as possible.

Driving Under The Influence of Drugs In Texas


In the state of Texas driving under the influence of drugs is treated similarly to charges faced when arrested for driving a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol. The Texas Penal Code defines intoxicated as “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body.”

In the state of Texas, there is an implied consent for drug and alcohol tests if a police officer suspects you are driving while intoxicated. If you refuse to take a test, your refusal can be used against you and you can still face criminal charges. If an officer believes you are driving while under the influence and the blood or urine test comes up positive, then you will face Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges.

According to Texas DPS, the white male population is the demographic that is arrested the most for DUI. Of the nearly 90,000 DUI arrests a year that take place in Texas, most of them are alcohol-related. Even with a decreasing drug abuse arrest rate, there are still thousands of people a year charged with driving under the influence of drugs in the state of Texas.

Criminal Penalties For DUI In Texas

The penalties you can face if convicted of driving under the influence of drugs are the exact same as DWI for alcohol charges in the state of Texas. Since there are no intoxication levels with drugs any proof of influence will get you the same penalties as driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher will. In Texas, the penalties get worse if you get charged with more than one DUI offense.

For a first DUI offense, you can face 3 to 180 days in jail, up to a $2,000 fine and get your driver’s license suspended for 90 to 365 days. For a second DUI offense, a person can face 30 days to 1 year in jail, up to a $4,000 fine and get their license taken away for 180 days to 2 years. If someone is charged with a third DUI offense they can face a minimum of two years in prison, up to a $10,000 fine and 180 days to 2 years of their driver’s license being suspended.

In addition to fines and jail time, a person convicted of driving under the influence of drugs can be ordered drug/alcohol treatment and/or probation. During probation, the defendant will have to regularly report to a probation officer who will make sure they are completing everything they need to do as ordered by law. In DUI cases, people convicted are often ordered drug tests, treatment and community service.

Potential DUI Defenses And Your Rights

DUI for drugs cases can be hard to win because according to the law if drugs are found in your system while driving you can be considered intoxicated. However, some drugs such as marijuana stay in your system longer than they can intoxicate someone. In some cases, a person will be found not to be intoxicated while driving even though a drug test showed narcotics in their system. In other cases, the drug test may have shown a false positive, meaning that the test said there were drugs in your system when there wasn’t. If you hire a lawyer to represent you, then they will be able to tell you what your best defense can be.

Need A Lawyer In Austin, Texas?

Getting a DUI charge can be a difficult and life-changing process. Having a lawyer to represent you can save you time, money and lots of headaches. During the DUI conviction process there are many hoops to jump through with the court system and the department of motor vehicles. A lawyer will stand by your side and help you through all of the legal hurdles your DUI charge will throw at you.

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3 Common Mistakes We Make After A Car Accident

No one heads out on the road expecting to get into a car wreck with a drunk driver. Even minor Houston fender benders can create problems in our lives. It is this same surprising nature that makes it virtually impossible to be fully prepared for a  DWI car accident. If one should happen, having some foreknowledge can be helpful.

For instance, there are tons of mistakes that we unknowingly make in the aftermath of a car accident. We’ve listed some of the more common ones below.

Failure to file a police report

Typically seen in drunk driving related fender benders, the failure to file a police report can hurt us physically and financially – especially since many issues (medical and vehicular) don’t always show up immediately after a car accident. Once the Houston Police Department has arrived on the scene, make sure they get the names and address of any witnesses.

If the officer determines that the other party is at fault, this (along with the names of the valuable witnesses) will be in the report as well and can be of great assistance to you when filing an insurance claim.

Failure to Seek Medical Care

Just because you feel fine after a DWI car wreck doesn’t mean that you should forego emergency care. In fact, you should get a complete medical exam immediately (or as soon as possible) after the accident. Sometimes, injuries (like whiplash) don’t show up until a few days after the accident, getting documentation ensures that undiagnosed medical injuries don’t negatively influence your car accident settlement case.

Failure of Tact

Another common mistake people make after a car accident is talking to the other party’s insurance company. This is a trap, not a requirement – as many have come to believe. You have to remember that the other driver’s insurance company does not want to give you any money, even if you are innocent. It is their goal to find small cracks in what you say and assign blame to you so they can avoid their responsibility.

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Top 3 Ways to Avoid Drunk Drivers on the Road

According to the CDC, someone dies as a result of alcohol-impaired driving every 50 minutes or so. These statistics show just how many drunk drivers are on the roads today. While they are a danger to themselves, you are also not safe using the same road and below are tips on how to avoid such drunk drivers.

Buckle Your Seatbelt

The first defense against drunk drivers is your seatbelt. If you happen to see one ahead of you, make sure that everyone in your car is buckled up should there be a crash. Furthermore, having your seatbelt can reduce injuries.

Keep a Generous Following Distance

This is also a good strategy of avoiding drunken drivers on the road. Never try to overtake the driver. Instead, keep a generous following distance between you and the driver so that you have an eye on his or her erratic behavior. Apart from just keeping your distance, be your brother’s keeper and call local law enforcement to come in pull the driver off the road.

Avoid Late Driving

During the holiday season, celebrations usually end up with people drinking before driving home late at night. Therefore, your best remedy is staying at home in the evenings to avoid running into such fellows on the road. If possible, stay off the roads on drinking holidays and you will be safe. Most Texas DWI litigation trial lawyers in Houston will agree with this.

A drunk driver can ruin your day and even have you hospitalized for a long time. Therefore, you need to stay safe by watching out for such drivers and doing everything possible to avoid them.

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When a Traffic Ticket Becomes a Felony Evasion Charge

Talk about dumb criminals. In Houston this weekend, Independence Day weekend, a man was arrested and charged by the Houston Police Department for felony evading arrest. The situation, as I have come to understand it, is based on nothing more than a poor individual making a poor decision.

HOUSTON – Houston police said a man who was not drunk led officers on a chase because he was afraid of getting a DWI charge.
The chase happened late Tuesday on Harwin at Rogerdale. An officer tried to stop a white car for a traffic violation, but the suspect refused to pull over. He led police northbound on Beltway 8 to Richmond where he finally stopped.

Police said the car was not stolen, and the driver had no warrants.

The man allegedly told officers he had a couple of drinks, so he was afraid of getting arrested. Officers said the man was sober, however. He now faces a felony evading charge.  Source

Basically what had happened was a gentleman had had a few drinks, took to the roads in his car, made a minor traffic violation which spurred the attention of the Houston Police Department, after which the Houston Police Department attempted to conduct a routine traffic stop to issue a traffic citation, resulting in the driver panicking and evading arrest.

What would have been a minor traffic violation, or, at worst, a first-time misdemeanor DWI offense, is now a felony criminal offense set for hearing at the Harris County criminal court in downtown Houston on Franklin Street.

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Fighting Allegations of Drunk Driving in Houston

Being accused of a DWI offense in Houston and to need a LAWYER is a serious matter to be taken very seriously. In Texas there is a current epidemic of drunk driving and law enforcement has taken notice, and have kept the public on notice, for years. A smart Houston DWI lawyer will be able to inform you of your rights if you’ve been arrested and charged with a DWI offense by the Houston Police Department or the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

If you’re looking for a Houston DWI lawyer visit The Law Offices of Tad Nelson of Associates to learn more about some of the best DWI defense lawyers who are currently accepting new clients in the Houston area.

When a person is arrested for a DWI offense the police have to prove their case in the court of law. Due to the scientific biochemical nature of criminal cases in which Driving While Intoxicated is alleged, its important to be sure that you’re represented by criminal lawyers & attorneys who have honed their craft, and know what they’re doing.

 

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Consequences of Alcohol Consumption

A number of people don’t understand the consequences and potential health ramifications of using alcohol. In this article that was sharing, we’ve taken the time to point out some of the bad consequences involved with long-term alcohol use and alcohol is.

  • A few of the short-term effects involved with drinking alcohol are slurred speech, drowsiness, a persistence of nausea, and vomiting.
  • There’s a strong possibility that if you are drinking alcohol, and decide to drive, you can be suspected of DWI, stopped by police, and arrested for your crime.
  • Another few short-term effects of alcohol ingestion include an upset stomach, diarrhea, headaches, difficulties breathing, distorted vision, distorted hearing, and impaired judgment.
  • Another consequence of taking alcohol could be not only an arrest for DWI, but you may kill someone by accident as a result of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Blackouts are often reported by people who are either alcoholics, or used alcohol heavily.
  • In some cases, people who have drink too much alcohol become deathly intoxicated resulting in a comatose state on part of the individual.
  • Loss of red blood cells, also referred to as anemia, has also been linked to high alcohol consumption.
  • It has been found that among alcohol users there is a serious decrease and their perception and coordination.
  • There have also been reports of alcohol users randomly going into states of unconsciousness. This can explain why a number of people who use alcohol into falling asleep behind the will and killing entire families on as a result of their responsibility to control their liquor.
  • Memory lapses where the drinker is incapable of recalling recent events have also been reported by alcoholics and people who heavily indulge in alcohol consumption.

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10 consequences of drinking alcohol

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Avoiding Jail For a DWI Charge Is Possible

Being arrested for a DWI related criminal offense is serious business. It can affect your job possibilities and can also reappear as a bad reminded of the past in the form of a criminal record. We recommend talking a lawyer who can help you fight a DWI offense in the court of law.

However, if you are tried in the court of law and found guilty, depending on the details of the case and any previous criminal history you may have, you may be able to get out of going to jail with a chance at having the criminal record removed from your background. Talk with a DUI lawyer to learn more about your options. Good Luck.

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