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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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 perfectly illustrate the numbers of drunk drivers on the roads today. While they are a danger to themselves, you are also not safe using the same road as a person engaged in DWI. 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 an impaired driver ahead of you, make sure that everyone in your car is buckled up in case there is a crash. Furthermore, having your seatbelt on can reduce injuries.

Keep a Generous Following Distance

Staying a safe distance away from DWI suspects is a good strategy to avoid intoxicated drivers on the road in Houston. Never try to overtake the motorist who is driving while intoxicated. 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 becoming intoxicated before driving home late at night. Therefore, your best remedy is staying at home in the evenings to avoid running into such individuals 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. The can even kill you. Therefore, you need to stay safe by watching out for such drivers and doing everything possible to avoid them. Even if you’re successful at avoiding a collision with an impaired motorist, do the public a favor and alert local law enforcement of their presence.

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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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One Night of Fun, A Lifetime of Regret

When they’re in the moment, people don’t usually take time to consider the possible consequences of their behavior. We all enjoy a night out with our friends from time to time, but what starts as a fun night of partying and drinking can be a recipe for disaster.

Recipe For Disaster

A moment of irresponsibility can change your life forever. 

Houston-Texas-DWI-dui

Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while you’re intoxicated not only puts your life on the line, it puts the lives of innocent parties who are sharing the roadway with you at risk. However, death or serious injury are not the only possible consequences which can turn your life upside down if you get caught drinking while driving.

I once knew a professional woman, who was the assistant director of her department within a prestigious university. She was successful, attractive, intelligent, and to all who knew her, appeared to have a great life. Tragedy struck her life unexpectedly when one of her parents fell ill and then died.

The grief and anger that followed began to cause tension in her home life, so she began to spend a lot of time in bars drinking and partying. The combination of alcohol and fun with her friends numbed the pain she was experiencing from the loss of her parent.

The Reality Check

Very early one morning, the woman was driving home from a bar when she was pulled over by the police. They performed a field sobriety test and she submitted to a breathalyzer, which proved that she was well over the legal limit. What turned out as a night where she wanted to dull the pain of personal issues turned into a nightmare that would continue for years.

She was arrested and ended up spending a traumatic night in jail.

There were many tears shed, but all the tears and pleading and apologies in the world didn’t get her out of lock-up. When she was finally released the following morning, the woman went home and had to ashamedly face her husband and children.

The gravity of the situation set in, and she realized that she had to locate an attorney that specialized in DUI cases.

From that point, her life went downhill.  Once relatively well-off financially, the costs associated with her DUI began to chip away at her savings.  Unless you’ve been through it, you cannot even begin to imagine the tremendous financial burden involved with being charged with a DUI. Many thousands of dollars were swallowed up by attorney costs, court fees, fines, lost income and vehicle insurance rates that skyrocketed after her arrest.

But the devastation went much farther than financial loss. The woman was convicted, and now has a criminal record. She spent the next few years trying to hide her conviction from her employer. Due to the company’s policies, she feared that she would lose her job if her employer found out.

The stress of court appearances and appeals in the name of trying to keep from serving time, along with the financial burden, took a toll on her family life. It eroded her relationship with her husband and caused a rift with her children. Ultimately, this lead to many months of counseling to try to keep the family together. In the end, she was sentenced to two years of supervised probation, but the damage had already been done. The situation had taken such a toll on the woman’s mental health and wellness that her husband eventually filed for divorce and custody of the children.

Talk With an Experienced DWI-DUI Lawyer in Texas

If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been arrested for a DUI, the most important thing you can do is to retain the services of an attorney that specializes in DUI cases like the Texas Board Certified expert DUI attorneys at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates. Although there will be consequences no matter what, it could mean the difference between serving jail time or getting off with probation.

Is one night of fun worth destroying your entire life? The reality is that no matter how responsible or how innocent our intentions are, we’re all human and we all makes mistakes.

One Night of Fun, A Lifetime of Regret

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