Prescription Drugs and DWIs


Believe it or not, you can get charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) without having a drop of alcohol to drink. A DWI is allowed because “intoxicated” means not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties of reason because of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, or a combination or any of the above. While you may not have been drinking, if you had any prescription drug in your system, your body might still be compromised and unable to respond quickly to environmental stimuli.

Texas law forbids people from driving while lacking mental or physical faculties because of a drug, no matter whether or not you have a prescription for that medication. If a police officer suspects you of a DWI, he or she might pull you over and ask you to submit to a field sobriety test or breathalyzer, which might yield inconclusive results.

If the officer then takes you to the police station to take a blood, breath, or urine test, the outcome might show were under the influence of a prescription drug when driving. Some prescriptions, such as pain medications, tend to have depressive effects on the human body. Typically, these types of medications will indicate people should avoid driving and operating heavy machinery after taking these drugs because they can cause drowsiness, sleepiness, and dizziness.

Common drugs that might lead to DWI arrests include the following:

  • Xanax
  • Alprazolam
  • Soma
  • Vicodin
  • Ambien
  • Fentanyl

Likewise, even conventional, over-the-counter medications could lead to an arrest if an officer suspects you of being impaired. For example, Tylenol PM, cold medicines, cough, medicines, and allergy medications all can cause people to feel so drowsy they are unable to drive without complications.

Even if you have a valid prescription or a legitimate reason to use the drug, you can still be charged with a DWI if you were impaired when driving. Most people who are charged with a DWI for prescription drugs will face the same penalties as the average DWI driver under the influence of alcohol.

If you’re being accused of a DWI, make sure to call our skilled Austin criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Alex R. Hernandez, Jr. PLLC has decades of legal experience to offer your case, and our highly rated founding attorney is dedicated to defending the rights and freedom of our clients. Let us see what we can do for you.

Contact us at (888) 907-8994 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.

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