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How can the state determine I’ve committed dwi through drug use?

Posted by Jess A. Lorona | Sep 02, 2017 | 0 Comments

can state determine ive committed dwi drug use

Determining Intoxication Based on Drug Use

Texas Penal Code Section 49.01: A person commits DWI when, while driving, through the use of alcohol, drugs, controlled substance, or any combination thereof, he has lost the normal use of either his mental or physical faculties OR he has 0.08 or more alcohol concentration in his blood.

If you are facing a DWI charge where alcohol is involved, there are easier ways to determine whether or not you are intoxicated. For example, the officer could smell alcohol on your breath or you had a blood concentration level of 0.08 or more.

But, if the State is alleging that you are intoxicated through the use of medication or drugs, this is determined on a case by case basis. The state has to show, based on the facts, that you have lost the normal use of your mental or physical faculties.

What drugs would be considered intoxicating?

The U.S. Department of Justice's Drug Enforcement Administration Division has listed out which drugs are considered to be a controlled substance and intoxicating.

How can these drugs affect my mental or physical faculties?

Some of the drugs listed above can produce side effects that will make you intoxicated just as much as 0.08 level of blood alcohol can.

CNS depressants

  • Slow down the functions of the brain and body
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, impaired/slowed thinking, difficult to understand directions
  • Can be detected by the HGN test used in drunk driving
  • Some include:
    • Alcohol
    • Carisoprodol/Meprobamate
    • Diazepam (Valium)
    • Ambien

CNS Stimulants

  • Speed up the functions of the brain and body, dizziness, confused or disoriented behavior, restlessness
  • Some include:
    • Methamphetamine/Amphetamine
    • Cocaine


  • Cause altered perceptions, impairs reaction time and perception, hallucinations, altered mental state
  • Some include:
    • LSD
    • Ecstasy


  • Effects motor behavior, perception, cognition, memory, and learning


  • inattentive, slower reaction times

What if I have a prescription?

This is not a defense to a DWI based on drug use. Even though some doctors are able to prescribe patients medications such as Valium, Ambien, etc., you can still be charged with DWI if the medication has inhibited your mental or physical faculties.

If you are facing a DWI charge that alleges you were intoxicated through drug use, speak with an experienced attorney such as the criminal defense attorney Phoenix locals trust.

About the Author

Jess A. Lorona



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