Wednesday, February 20, 2013

DWI And Prescription Drugs

You are driving home from work and the Police pull you over. After answering what appears to be innocent questions you end the encounter with a Driving While Intoxicated charge even though you did not drink. How is this so? In Harris County, Texas there is no distinction between Driving While Intoxicated due to a Blood or Breath Alcohol Concentration greater than .08, and Driving While Intoxicated attributable to illegal drugs, legally prescribed pharmaceuticals or over the counter medications.
The DWI charges stem from the side effects of a given drug. The Texas Department of State Health Services has a list of legally prescribed pharmaceuticals that fall into Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 Controlled Substances. A legal prescription for use does not forgo or exempt you from exercising caution. Prescription bottles come with an information sheet outlining possible side effects. The bottle itself will have warnings about dizziness, drowsiness, impaired vision or operating machinery and driving.

The Police can make this determination after a stop for any reason. You may be pulled over for a broken tail light. Once pulled over, the Officer will observe you. Your speech, pupils or coordination may lead them to make a Driving While Impaired charge. You may be pulled over for more obvious indicators such as weaving within your lane, driving to slow, drifting, unsafe lane changes, cutting off other drivers, inattentiveness to signals and signs and the same type of driving as if you were falling asleep.
How do you know if you might be driving impaired? A good indicator would be if your medication makes you feel light headed or intoxicated, or makes you look intoxicated. Erratic driving due to the side effect of feeling sleepy, drowsy or affected motor coordination all of which impact your driving ability will get you stopped. If you are pulled over, do not admit you are on medication. Do not carry it in the car. This is evidence of DWI. If the label warns alcohol can intensify the effects of the medication, do not drink and drive. A very small amount of alcohol that would normally leave you within safe limits can be ruled to have placed you in diminished ability in conjunction with your medication.
This is a serious charge that should not be faced alone. A good Houston DWI attorney will be able to assist you with these issues. There is no legal limit for Driving While Intoxicated when it comes to drugs.  If someone loses their normal use of mental or physical faculties they may be found guilty. If the medication, confuses you, reduces or diminishes your coordination or motor skills you should not drive.  Discuss side effects with your Doctor before hand and learn how your medications affect you. If you find yourself pulled over, make no admittance. Contact Houston DWI lawyer Herman Martinez immediately to protect your rights.

The Martinez Law Firm
3730 Kirby Dr #909, 
Houston, TX 77098
Phone:(713) 489-9773