Driving Under the Influence in Houston – What Do Drivers Need to Know?
In Houston, Texas, if you are found to be drunk while driving, you may be charged with DUI or DWI offenses. To prove someone as legally intoxicated, the alleged individual must have an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater as blood and/or breath alcohol concentration (BAC). In Houston, DWI charge is not only limited to driving while you are under the influence of alcohol, but it also covers driving any type of automobile while you are intoxicated by drugs including over-the-counter, illegal, or even prescribed.
Prescribed drugs too?
Yes. You can be arrested as per the Drug DWI rules under DWI statute of Texas of being “intoxicated”. The rule states “not having normal use of physical or mental faculties for the reason of the introduction of alcohol, controlled substances, drugs, dangerous drugs, or a mixture of two or more of these substances.”
Simply put, it is clear that using drugs of any sort which may adversely affect the mental or physical status can be considered as a DWI offense. You may receive same charges even if you have never touched alcohol. However, this does not imply that a person can come under DWI anytime for taking a drug and driving a vehicle. The test will be done to check whether the medication impairs the mental and physical capabilities or has other side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness.
Considering this, it is important to carefully read the warnings on the labels of the drugs and also discuss the side effects of each with your physician. Below is the list of some general drugs for which you may have to discuss the effects with the doctor.
The most commonplace drug DUIs include charges of driving under the influence of different prescription drugs such as:
- Soma etc.
A number of legal practitioners offer a detailed overview of the subject on their website. Visit firm for more information on the same.
Over the counter medications
With prescribed medication, you have a chance to discuss the possible side-effects with the physician. It is not the same with OTC medicines. So, you have to be more careful when taking over-the-counter medications. There is also a chance that you may get charged with DWI in Houston sometimes with over-the-counter medicines such as:
- Tylenol PM
- Cough medicines
- Cold medicines
- Allergy medications etc.
This is just a representative list, and you need to be very diligent while buying and using these types of over-the-counter medications, especially if planning to go for a ride afterwards. The cough medicines and analgesics do have a sedating effect, which you may have experienced if you are a frequent user of those. This can adversely affect the capacity to be physically and mentally alert during the time of driving, which is the reason why these too are covered under the DWI regulations.
Conclusion: What to do when you get charged?
Whether you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be charged with DUI or DWI offenses. It is necessary to seek immediate legal support from an experienced DWI lawyer when you face such serious charges. Even though prescribed medications are not counted as controlled substances, long-term consequences of such a conviction may be more serious than you can imagine.