Criminal Law

Drugs That Impair Driving

Carabin & Shaw’s DWI lawyers are highly experienced with the DRE protocol and understand how to defend you against these charges. Many people don’t realize the fact that prescription drugs can result in a San Antonio DWI just as easily as illegal drugs. But it is not always the proper conviction. Our lawyers know this. If you find yourself involved in a drug related traffic stop, call a San Antonio impaired driving defense attorney at Carabin & Shaw.

Much like alcohol, driving while under the influence mind-altering substances/drugs impair your reaction time, attention to the road, ability to focus, and depth perception, among other debilitating side effects that may hinder your ability to operate a vehicle safely. In 2013, over 31 million people climbed behind the wheel of a car after abusing drugs or alcohol. Out of this group of people, in 2009, 1 in 3 driver fatalities in car crashes tested positive for drugs. Officers are taught to read the signs of a driver’s behavior and test for the presence of drugs if probable cause arises. The drug recognition evaluation, or DRE, program is the fastest growing sector of DWI enforcement. A little known fact about these situations: you can be prosecuted for a DWI even if you have not consumed any alcohol. For example, you can still be prosecuted on a DWI charge if you were taking prescription medication. This potential arises because the Texas DWI laws also prohibit you from operating a motor vehicle while impaired by certain prescription drugs.

A San Antonio DWI arrest based on a DRE investigation is much like a DWI arrest. However, the major difference between a DRE and BAC procedural field testing in San Antonio is that with a DRE based DWI based arrest, you don’t necessarily need to test more than a .08 BAC after taking a breath test. Once these results are in, a DRE trained officer will perform a DRE evaluation on you. Drugs that impair driving can lead to a long list of procedural protocols in order to determine if you are legally obligated to avoid vehicular operation while in your current altered state, including use of any drugs that impair driving. The DRE evaluation is a twelve-step process carefully developed to leave no stone unturned for each individual case. It is the presiding case officer’s responsibility to determine whether you are impaired, and if so, to determine what type of drug is it specifically that caused your impairment.

This process includes:

  • Measuring your pupil size
  • Taking your blood pressure
  • Testing your pupil reactions to light
  • Examining your body for track/injection marks
  • Any other medical test available

At the same time, it is important to know that some medical doctors have rejected the conclusions drawn from the DRE’s protocol. Some have said that the DRE protocol does not accurately gauge the symptoms that it claims to be able to measure. Fortunately, an experienced lawyer at Carabin & Shaw can help if you do indeed find yourself at the potentially subjective mercy of DRE readings. Drugs that impair driving can get you in serious trouble in the San Antonio area, and even worse, can cause injury or death to you or surrounding parties. We know this, and we have San Antonio attorneys standing by to help with your drug related offenses. Call us for a free consultation to discuss your options moving forward after the incident.

If you are pulled over for a DUI, it is recommended that you do not agree to perform any tests or voluntarily leave the scene of car stop. Instead, contact Carabin & Shaw immediately and we will help guide you through the process. Call our criminal law attorneys today, day or night. You’ll be glad you did.

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