Driving under the influence of drugs is a growing concern across the United States. While alcohol-impaired driving has long been a focal point of anti-drunk driving campaigns, the issue of driving while impaired (DWI) by drugs is equally critical. In Texas, the implications of this problem are significant, with countless lives at risk on the road. DWI drug offenses are just as serious as those related to alcohol impairment under the law in the Lone Star State. Read on to learn more.
Driving While Impaired by Drugs in Texas
Driving while impaired by drugs in Texas is a grave offense. Texas law prohibits operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs, assigning severe penalties for drug-impaired driving convictions. The penalties in Texas can include fines, driver’s license suspension, and jail time; they depend on the specific details of each case.
How Do Drugs Affect Crash Risk?
The risk of a car crash significantly increases when a driver is under the influence of drugs. Drugs impair a driver’s cognitive skills and motor skills, so operating a vehicle safely is difficult. Drugs can affect crash risk by diminishing reaction times and coordination, decreasing attention span, altering perception, and causing drowsiness and fatigue.
A slower reaction time makes it difficult for a driver to respond quickly to unexpected situations on the road, such as sudden stops or obstacles. And impaired coordination makes it challenging to maintain control of the vehicle, resulting in things like swerving, drifting between lanes, and difficulty staying within the speed limit.
A driver having a decreased attention span is a concern because it impacts concentration. Drivers who cannot attend to the task effectively are easily distracted which increases the likelihood of an accident occurring.
Altered perception of a driver’s surroundings is problematic because it causes drivers to misjudge distances and have difficulty with depth perception. Perception errors like these lead to poor judgment which increases the chance of having an accident.
Of course, certain drugs can cause drowsiness and fatigue, as well. These drug impacts contribute to the possibility of accidents occurring. This puts drivers at risk of falling asleep at the wheel, which can lead to accidents that have disastrous, life-changing consequences.
Common Drugs Known to Impair Driving
There are numerous drugs, both legal and illegal, that are known to impair driving abilities. Aside from alcohol, some examples of common drugs that can affect a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely include marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Further, caution should be taken when using prescription medications such as painkillers, sedatives, and antihistamines, and over-the-counter medications like cough syrups or allergy medications, as they also can impact driving abilities.
Driving while impaired by drugs in Texas is a serious concern, as it endangers the lives of the driver and others on the road. The effects of drugs on drivers contribute to an increased likelihood of accidents, so people must understand the potential risks associated with drug use and driving.
If you need help with a drug-related DWI case in Austin, Texas, or the surrounding area, you should seek out professional legal representation from a respected and experienced criminal defense attorney right away. In Austin, secure professional legal representation from board-certified attorney Brian Erskine of Erskine Law. Mr. Erskine will help you reach the best possible outcome in your case. Contact Law Maverick Brian Erskine for a free consultation.
Fatal car crash statistics 2023
Annual Texas motor vehicle crash statistics
Texas Drugged Driving
Drug or Controlled Substance Offenses
Schedules of Controlled Substances – Drug Manufacturers and Distributors