In the state of Texas, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of prescription or illicit drugs. Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) is a serious offense that can expose a person to the possibility of harsh legal consequences such as jail time and expensive fines. Since there is no set standard for measuring a person’s intoxication from drugs, unlike alcohol, drivers believed to be under the influence of drugs are prosecuted on a case-by-case basis. Having a valid prescription or other entitlement to be under the influence of a drug is not a useable defense against DUID charges.
What are the Penalties for DUID in Texas?
Penalties for a DUID conviction will vary in severity depending on several different factors, including a driver’s record of previous DUID offenses, whether or not the defendant refused to submit to a chemical test, whether an open alcohol container was found in the defendant’s vehicle, and whether or not a minor under the age of 15 was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the defendant’s arrest.
For a first offense, penalties can include:
- Up to $2,000 in fines
- Up to 180 days in jail
- Up to 100 hours of community service
- One year driver’s license suspension
A second DUID offense can bring the following consequences:
- Fines up to $4,000
- Up to one year in jail
- A maximum of 200 hours of community service
- Driver’s license suspension for up to two years
Finally, third and subsequent offenses can bring the most serious penalties:
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- Up to 10 years in jail
- Up to 600 hours of community service
- Driver’s license suspension lasting up to two years
In addition to these legal consequences, a DUID conviction can have a massive impact on a person’s reputation and ability to find employment, as many employers have a tendency to overlook applicants with criminal records. If you have been arrested on DUID charges, it is imperative that you retain the services of a high-powered attorney to protect yourself against the possibility of serving these harsh penalties.
Arrested? Contact a Hard-Hitting Fort Worth DWI Lawyer
If you are facing charges for a drugged driving offenses, a high-caliber criminal defense attorney from the Law Office of Samuel R. Terry, P.C. can protect your rights in court and advocate for a reduction or dismissal of your charges. Having earned a 2014 Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ designation and a Top Lawyers honor by Fort Worth Texas Magazine, Attorney Samuel Terry can provide the aggressive defense you need to maximize your chances of securing a desirable outcome.
For more information, call his office today at (817) 756-1817 to request a free consultation.