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Georgetown, TX 78626
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DUI / DWI Prescription Drugs

Many people do not realize that driving while under the influence of certain medications can result in a criminal charge. There are a variety of prescribed drugs that can impair a person’s driving in Texas. Drug-related DUI frequently include Narcotic Analgesics (painkillers) as well as Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants which are prescribed to treat anxiety, panic attacks, and convulsions.

Some examples of prescription drugs that can lead to a DWI include Codeine, Fentanyl, Ambien, Morphine, Lunestta, Adderall, Ritalin, Percocet, and Valium, among others. Prescription sleeping pills such as Ambien can also severely impair a person’s ability to drive. A Texas law enforcement officer may stop a driver on suspicion of prescription drug DUI in the same manner as driving under the influence of alcohol. If you have been charged with a DUI / DWI offense, we highly recommend you seek legal counsel immediately.

Georgetown Criminal Defense Attorney in Texas

Several serious consequences can come from a DUI and DWI conviction. If you or a loved one have been charged with a DWI, it’s within your best interest to obtain legal representation to ensure that your case is handled correctly. Law Office of Michael J. Price, P.C. will put their combined experience and knowledge to work for you.

Georgetown criminal defense lawyer Michael J. Price represents those accused of DWI and DUI in Central Texas. He also defends clients in Williamson County and any of the surrounding areas Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander, Taylor, Hutto, Killeen, Temple, Belton or Harker Heights. Call him today at (512) 354-1880 to obtain a free initial consultation.


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Information Center


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What is a DWI in Texas?

DWI is an acronym for driving while intoxicated. A person is charged with a DWI when they operate a vehicle under the influence of substances other than alcohol. These substances can be both legal such as prescription or over-the-counter drugs) and illegal. In Texas, driving while intoxicated is a serious offense.

Per Texas Penal Code Sec. 49.04, drivers also face DWI charges if their blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) goes above the federal limit of 0.08. Usually, law enforcement officers will utilize a breathalyzer to test the concentration in the driver’s breath. In some cases, however, a DWI will be charged based on the suspicion of the influence of alcohol, or erratic driving behavior. A DUI in Texas only applies to people under 21 years of age who are operating a vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their blood.


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Texas DWI Penalties

The penalties for DWI can be severe and are determined by a variety of factors. These include prior convictions, a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC), whether minors were present and whether there were deaths involved. Texas DWI penalties range as follows:

First DWI Offense:

  • Offense Level: Class B Misdemeanor
  • Maximum Fine: Up to $2,000
  • Jail Range: 72 hours to 180 days
  • License Suspension: 90 to 365 days

DWI with Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) at or over .15:

If your BAC is found to be at .15 or over, you may face the following penalties for your DWI:

  • Offense Level: Class A Misdemeanor
  • Maximum Fine: Up to $4,000
  • Jail Range: 72 hours to 1 year in county jail
  • License Suspension: 90 to 365 days

First DWI with Open Container Enhancement:

If you are found with an open container in your car on your first DWI, you may face the following penalties:

  • Offense Level: Class B Misdemeanor
  • Maximum Fine: Up to $2,000
  • Jail Range: 6 days to 180 days in county jail
  • License Suspension: 90 to 365 days

2nd DWI Offense:

The penalties for a second offense DWI in Texas are as follows:

  • Offense Level: Class A Misdemeanor
  • Maximum Fine: Up to $4,000
  • Jail Range: 30 to 365 days
  • License Suspension: 180 days to 2 years

3rd DWI Offense:

The penalties for a third offense DWI in Texas are as follows:

  • Offense Level: 3rd Degree Felony
  • Maximum Fine: Up to $10,000
  • Jail Range: 2 to 10 years in Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)
  • License Suspension: 180 days to 2 years

3rd or more DWI with 1 prior state prison sentence:

The penalties for a prior state prison sentence and 3+ DWI charges include:

  • Offense Level: Punished as a 2nd Degree Felony
  • Maximum Fine: Up to $10,000
  • Jail Range: 2 to 20 years in Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)
  • License Suspension: Up to 2 years

3rd or more DWI with 2 prior state prison trips:

The penalties for two prior state prison sentences and 3+ DWI charges include:

  • Offense Level: Enhanced Felony Punishment
  • Maximum Fine: Up to $10,000
  • Jail Range: 25 years to life in Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)
  • License Suspension: Up to 2 years

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DWI with a Child Passenger in Williamson County

A person is charged with child endangerment if they are intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. The difference, however, from a regular DWI offense, is that it includes one added element: the vehicle being operated is occupied by a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age. Texas statutes defines intoxication as having a BAC of .08% or more, or not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties due to the consumption of alcohol or another substance.

Per Texas Code Chapter 49, the penalty is a state jail felony. A conviction will result in loss of driver’s license for 180 days, a fine of up to $10,000, and incarceration of 180 days to 2 years in the Texas state jail system. Additional penalties include DWI school, up to $1,000 hours of community, and driver’s license suspension. An experienced DUI lawyer in Williamson County, TX, will be able to fight these consequences and keep your best interests at heart.

Prescription Drugs Commonly Used in Texas

Most people believe is that if they have a valid prescription for medication, they cannot be arrested of DWI on prescription drugs. This is not the case when it comes to Texas laws. In Texas, people can be charged with a DWI offense if they are found intoxicated due to prescription medication, and over the counter medication, just the same as drinking alcohol.

Unfortunately, some prescription drugs can cause side effects similar to alcohol consumption, which can impair a person’s ability to drive. For example, Percocet is used to relieve moderate to severe pain particularly after medical procedure. Percocet can also produce side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, or a slowed reaction time. Listed below are common prescription drugs associated with DWI:

  • Stadol
  • Steroids
  • Tussin
  • Valium
  • Vicodin
  • Xanax
  • Oxycontin
  • Adderall
  • Codeine
  • Percocet
  • Ritalin
  • Soma
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Dextromethorphan (DXM)

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Additional DUI / DWI Resources

Sober Rides — The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) launched the Sober Rides website to combat drunk driving by providing Texans with options for getting home. Use this website to phone a friend, call a cab or rideshare service, or find alternate modes of transportation. Sober Rides also provides PSA videos.

Texas DWI Laws – Visit the official website for Texas Legislation to learn more about the driving while intoxicated statute. Access the laws to learn more about DWI penalties, enhanced DWI offenses and other alcohol-related crimes found in Chapter 49. You can also view definitions of DWI-related terms.


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Texas DWI Prescription Drugs Attorney in Georgetown

Were you arrested for drunk driving in the Georgetown, Texas? Make sure that you contact Law Office of Michael J. Price, P.C. as soon as possible. Driving while intoxicated or under the influence is a serious crime that can lead to life altering penalties. It’s important you obtain skilled legal counsel.

Michael J. Price is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Georgetown who will make every effort to help you avoid serious penalties of your charges. He represents clients from the Williamson and Bell County area including Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander, Taylor, Hutto, Killeen, Temple, Belton or Harker Heights. Call us today at (512) 354-1880 for a free consultation.


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