The warnings about the consequences of drinking and driving are very common. Indeed, most people understand that a drunk driving charge (and subsequent conviction) can cost thousands of dollars and result in jail time. However, reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest that impaired driving (through illegal or prescription drugs) is a growing problem that deserves more attention.
The NHTSA reports that the number of drivers surveyed that had blood alcohol levels above .08 declined by almost one-third since 2007. While this appears to be a step in the right direction with regard to public safety, but the number of people who were driving while impaired by prescription or illegal drugs increased. Specifically, 21 percent of drivers involved in accidents in 2015 were found to have drugs like marijuana, Xanax or Oxycontin in their systems while they were behind the wheel.
Like driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired by illegal or prescription drugs is prohibited by Texas law. Of course, law enforcement agencies use different testing methods to discover whether a driver is impaired by drugs. While no handheld instruments (like a breathalyzer) detect current drug use or impairment, but officers are certainly authorized to use their individual observations to make stops and arrests.
If you find yourself charged with drugged driving, or driving under the influence of marijuana, an experienced criminal defense attorney can be helpful. A seasoned lawyer can question the facts and observations made to determine if there are any defenses that can help you avoid a conviction.
The preceding is not legal advice.