DWI Texas Penal Code- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a major offense in the state of Texas. Because driving while intoxicated (DWI) is so dangerous, state laws that deal with it are extremely strict. Because Texas takes the crime of DWI so seriously, protocols are in place that allow for DWI arrests even in cases where the driver has not had any alcohol to drink nor used illegal drugs.

It is most common to be arrested and charged with a DWI when a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measures 0.08 or more. However, you could be charged with a DWI in Texas even if your BAC measurement is below the legal limit, particularly if you have used prescription drugs, whether illegally or as valid medication.

Texas law enforcement officers are trained to look for signs of intoxication, which include such things as erratic driving, irrational behavior, combativeness or belligerence, general confusion or disorientation, slurred speech, and lack of physical coordination. Some of those signs might result from prescription drug use; so a police officer who makes such observations can arrest you under suspicion of DWI. If a police officer stops you from driving and believes that you have lost the normal use of your mental or physical faculties, he or she might arrest you for DWI even with lower than a 0.08 BAC; the officer would arrest you to decrease any possible threat to you or others in case impairment is the result of prescription drug use.

Texas law enforcement officers use their own discretion to determine whether a driver is impaired and unable to operate a motor vehicle; state law grants them the right to do so. To make such a determination, a law enforcement officer makes observations of the driver to assess overall physical and mental state. Because a driver can be arrested for DWI in Texas based on the observations made by the arresting officer, it is important to understand how state law applies in these cases. There must be evidence presented that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you were operating a motor vehicle in a public place while your mental and/or physical faculties were impaired. Even without a BAC test measurement, an officer’s observations can be included as evidence for DWI charges to stand. 

No-alcohol DWI cases can be confusing, especially if a driver uses prescription medication. Having a professional DWI attorney who has the experience and skill to handle such cases offers you the greatest possible chance at fighting the charges against you. If you need a competent and caring criminal defense attorney to advocate for you in the Austin, Texas area, Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law (JGE) can help. The reputable legal team at JGE has a track record of success with DWI cases and will be able to answer your questions and offer professional legal guidance as to how to proceed in your case. For a free consultation and more information about the legal services available from the experienced team at Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law, contact them online or call 512-549-6976 any time.