In recent years, the state of Texas, along with several others, has been trying to crack down on drugged driving. Driving while under the influence of drugs is different than driving while under the influence of alcohol. The main reason the two differ is that there is no standardized testing to prove a driver is under the influence of drugs. On the other hand, a Breathalyzer can easily determine whether a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over .08%. So, what needs to be proven in order for someone to be convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs?
What Makes Up a DWI Charge?
Driving while under the influence, in the state of Texas, means the driver has a BAC of over.08%. It also covers instances in which the driver has lost their normal functionality of physical or mental facilities due to drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both. So, if a driver is either not given a BAC test, or does not exceed the .08% BAC, how can they be arrested for a DWI? The officer would have to have reason to believe the driver is substance-impaired.
How Do Police Officers Test for Drugged Driving?
Since there is no Breathalyzer equivalent for measuring drugs on the spot, an officer may choose to administer a field test. The field sobriety test, if administered and failed, can give an officer probable cause for an arrest. In the state of Texas, it is within your rights to decline the field sobriety test. Declining the test may lead to arrest, but it is not sufficient proof that a person is under the influence. Since there is no baseline scientific limit in place for how much of a drug makes a person impaired, it can be more difficult to prove.
If a driver is placed under arrest, the police may order a blood test. In some cases, the blood will be tested for the presence of certain drugs and substances. However, even if some form of a drug is found, the prosecution will still need further proof. They will need to prove that the drug caused the driver to become impaired.
What to Do When Facing Charges
If you are facing charges for drugged driving, it is always in your best interest to hire a legal team. Because of the complex nature of driving under the influence, an experienced legal team is an absolute must! If you want to lessen or completely erase your charges, you should hire counsel. If you or someone you know is facing DWI charges, contact the office of Stephen T. Bowling today.