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Can You Face DWI Charges for Prescription Medicine in Texas?

Posted on in DWI

TX defense lawyerWhen we think about driving while intoxicated (DWI), alcohol or illicit drugs typically come to mind. However, this is not the only substance that may lead to DWI charges in Texas. Many Texans are surprised to learn that driving after taking a prescription medication can sometimes lead to criminal charges – even if the driver was prescribed the medication by a doctor. The penalties for driving under the influence of a prescription drug are the same as those for drunk driving. If you or a loved one have been arrested for DWI because of driving while under the influence of prescription medication, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney for help.

Driving Under the Influence of an Intoxicating Medicine Can Lead to Criminal Consequences

Over two-thirds of US adults take at least one prescription medication. Understandably, there may be a time when someone who takes prescription medication needs to drive. However, Texas law states that driving while under the influence of any intoxicating substance can lead to DWI charges. Even if you are taking the drug legally for a legitimate medical purpose, you can still face criminal consequences.

Texas law defines “intoxicated” as:

  • Having a blood alcohol limit of 0.08 percent or more OR
  • Not having the normal use of your mental or physical capacities because of alcohol, drugs, any other substance, or a combination of these

Often, the effects of prescription medication are exacerbated by alcohol. Some of the medications often associated with driving while intoxicated charges include:

  • Benzodiazepines like Xanax, Klonopin, and diazepam
  • Sleeping pills like Ambien or Lunesta
  • Pain killers like Percocet, Oxycontin, or Vicodin

Even over-the-counter medications like Benadryl or cough medicine can potentially lead to DWI charges if the arresting officer feels that the drug has impaired the driver’s capacity to drive safely. The penalties for DWI in Texas include suspension of your driver’s license, up to 180 days in jail, and a maximum $2,000 fine.

Contact a Collin County DWI Defense Lawyer

In Texas, any substance that inhibits a driver’s driving ability can lead to DWI charges. It is possible to be arrested and charged with DWI even if the substance you took was prescribed by a doctor or lawfully available without a prescription. At the Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson PLLC, we represent individuals charged with DWI. Our team of skilled Frisco criminal defense attorneys has helped more than 500 DWI clients avoid a criminal conviction. To learn more, call 469-333-3333 and set up a free, confidential consultation and case review today.

 

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.49.htm

https://hpi.georgetown.edu/rxdrugs/#:~:text=More%20than%20131%20million%20people,Prescription%20drugs%20are%20costly.

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