Millions of Americans take prescription drugs. Some of these are for short-term use, such as pain medication following a surgical procedure. Some of these are used daily throughout our lives, to control chronic conditions. During the recent pandemic, supply chain issues have threatened access to prescription drugs for many of us, further highlighting just how important these are for daily life. You may be surprised to learn that even if you are taking prescription medication in the manner approved by your doctor, you could face repercussions if found driving under the influence of these medications.
Prescriptions and DWI in Texas
Under Texas Penal Code § 49.01, intoxication means, “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body.”
Under Texas law, prescription medications can fall under the definition of "controlled substances". Under the Texas Controlled Substance Act, these medications are scheduled according to their risk of abuse. Schedule II drugs have a high risk of abuse but have safe and accepted medical uses. These drugs include common prescription drugs, including, oxycodone (Percodan), methylphenidate (Ritalin), Vicodin, Adderall, and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine). Schedule III, IV, or V drugs have a lower risk of abuse than Schedule II. These may include common prescription drugs, such as acetaminophen with codeine (Tylenol No.3), diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), propoxyphene (Darvon), and pentazocine (Talwin).
Is My Prescription a Defense to DWI?
Under law Texas Penal Code § 49.10, “the fact that the defendant is or has been entitled to use the alcohol, controlled substance, drug, dangerous drug, or other substance is not a defense.” Even if you were not aware that the prescription medication you were taking could impair your mental state, you may face DWI charges.
This means that legal possession and use of a prescription drug is not a defense to a DWI charge. However, if you are in possession of a prescription drug without a valid prescription, you may also face drug possession charges.
A prescription may not be all you need to fight a DWI charge, but no matter what the circumstances of your arrest, an experienced and aggressive DWI defense attorney knows exactly how to investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest and find the areas where you could have fertile ground for mounting a legal defense–for example, if the police did violated your constitutional rights at any stage, if an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, could have affected your blood alcohol content reading, and more. The bottom line if you are arrested for a DWI due to prescription drugs- you can, and should, fight this charge.
Dallas/Fort Worth Prescription DWI Representation
Carl David Ceder represents clients who were arrested for prescription drug DWI charges in and around the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area. He knows that there's a lot at stake in these cases, including the loss of your license, fines, and even possible jail time. Contact his office online or at 469-900-0000 today.