Absolutely. Texas’ DWI statute makes it against the law to drive while intoxicated, which is defined as loss of the normal use of your mental or physical faculties, PERIOD. So, anything you ingest that makes you lose your normal mental or physical ability (judgment, balance, vision, mental focus, coordination, etc.) can make you a prime candidate for a DWI stop if you are driving, and it’s not just limited to weed. This is important to know, guy who just picked up that prescription for pain meds from your doctor or dentist. Having a prescription won’t save you if you’re driving around loopy, so make sure you actually read that fine print on the label. It’s not even fine print, it’s right there. I don’t have any, but it says something like “Don’t operate a car or heavy machinery while taking this drug, and don’t mix it with alcohol.” There’s probably a lot more words than that, but that’s the meat of it, and you should read the rest anyway. Trouble is, your bag of weed does not have a little sticker on it (becaue it’s not legal) so you may not think twice about driving around high. I don’t need to tell you that it’s a bad idea- would you do your taxes while you’re smoking? How do you think that would come out? Think of it this way- if ingesting something makes you feel as good as having a handful of beers, like maybe a joint, or one Vicodin and a glass of red wine (for the ladies), then just don’t drive. The law doesn’t care what got you intoxicated, they just care that you are dangerous behind the wheel. If you catch your self in this pradicament we advise speaking with one of our Austin DWI lawyers.
Can Marijuana DWI be proved with a Breath or Blood Test?
Fortunately for folks in Texas (need I even say… Austin?) the answer to this is no. The police can certainly get a warrant to take a blood sample if they have probable cause to believe you are under the influence of ANY drug, whether it’s weed or not. How, you ask? Well, let’s say you get pulled over by police and you’re slurring BUT when they get your breath sample it comes up .000. That’s a good clue. Or, get this, the police now have these guys called DRE’s, that stands for Drug Recognition Expert. They notice things like giant pupils that don’t respond to light, or the way your eyelids droop. And they know what marijuana smells like too. So when they suspect drugs, they submit an affidavit to a judge or magistrate for a warrant to get a blood or urine specimen. Now, here’s the catch- with alcohol, Texas has a per se limit, or level at which you are considered intoxicated whether you can stand on one leg or not. If you’re .08 or over, you can be convicted of alcohol DWI. At this time, Texas does NOT have a per se law for marijuana. So they can detect if THC (marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient) is there, but there is no magic number that makes you “legally intoxicated.” Many states do, and I would suspect it won’t be long before Texas jumps on the bandwagon. Then the next discussion would be, what should that magic number be? That’s a tough one, to be discussed in a blog post sometime later on. In the meantime, don’t push it. Have someone else drive you home from the Willie concert.