Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

MY DOCTOR PRESCRIBED THIS CUTE LITTLE PILL AND I WENT TO JAIL

Driving under the influence of drugs – illegal and prescription

My reading of history convinces me that most

bad government results from too much government.

THOMAS JEFFERSON

The law in Texas allows for prosecution if you are under the influence of ANY substance that will impair your ability to drive. The most common item is alcohol but, many drugs can produce a form of impairment. Illegal drugs such as marijuana, crack cocaine, and PCP are a few of the 7 main categories a police officer will be looking for. Included in the 7 classifications of impairing drugs are prescription medications, one of the most common being narcotic analgesics. Valium, Zanex and Lori tab are but a few of other commonly prescribed drugs which people may legally possess with a valid prescription from their physician yet still result in an arrest if they are driving while under their influence.

There is a program designed through the Department of Transportation to train officers to be Drug Recognition Experts (DRE). Once an officer on the street suspects drug impairment, there is a 12-step evaluation procedure that is undertaken to determine if an arrest is warranted.

There have not been any credible studies to support the position that DRE exams have any scientific basis of reliability. Another problem is there are very few officers trained in drug recognition evaluation, and the trained ones often will ignore the procedures and just make a guess. This results in an arrest but it also opens the door for a vigorous defense by properly trained DWI attorneys with DRE training.

As silly as it sounds, the most reliable step in the DRE protocol is to ask the suspect what drug they used prior to the arrest. Why go through all of the steps if the person is going to cooperate and give you the answer anyway. The urine or blood test result then corroborates the predicted drug but the officer is encouraged to select as many of the drug choices as he thinks possible and only correct guesses count. The officer might as well list all of the categories and then as long as any drug is present in the analysis the officer is considered 100% accurate.

Seven Drug Categories

  1. CNS Depressants

  2. CNS Stimulants

  3. Hallucinogens

  4. Disassociative Anesthetics (PCP)

  5. Narcotic Analgesics

  6. Inhalants

  7. Cannabis

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