Future of DWI Law in Texas
Looking ahead, I believe that there is going to be a drastic increase in DWI cases involving prescription medications, rather than illegal drugs or alcohol. Such cases will increasingly involve a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). However, I am usually able to refute the testimony of a DRE, because I start asking very technical toxicology questions, and they rarely know the answers. Mega million dollar grants have been given out to develop DRE programs; in the future, we are likely to see officers arresting housewives, students, and maybe some of your neighbors for taking prescription medications and driving. Also, many people believe that if a doctor prescribes anti-depressant medication, you should never take that medication and drink alcohol. However, the instructions say that until you and your doctor figure out your therapeutic dose and how you will react to this medication, you should not drink when you take it. If somebody really needs to take that kind of medication, they should not be driving without taking it; and most people who take anti-depressants or other medications can consume a moderate amount of alcohol, just as you and I could when driving.
In many cases, if an officer stops you while you are driving and they smell alcohol on your breath, they will also want to know if you are taking any medication. If you say that you took Prozac this morning, or you took your prescription and you were drinking, you may wind up going to jail. Also, if you hire a lawyer who does not know what he is doing and is not DRE-certified, he may advise you to plead guilty because you had drugs and alcohol in your system and he lacks knowledge. On the other hand, if I am dealing with a client who is taking prescription medicines and they have a .06 breath test reading, their doctor can testify that my client was taking a therapeutic level of their medication; and we have a good chance to succeed in court. Never give up the fight without knowing your case inside and out.