Can You Get a DUI When Smoking Marijuana?James Fletcher
Worried about getting pulled over when you’re stoned?
While it might happen someday, marijuana still isn’t legal in Texas.
Here’s the deal:
Even if (or when) pot becomes legal in Texas, it still won’t be legal to drive while using it if you’re impaired.
While there may be some big differences in how police handle marijuana-impaired driving and drunk driving, the court is likely to hand down similar consequences.
If you’re worried about what might happen if you or someone you know gets pulled over while using marijuana, keep reading for a closer look at what could happen legally and how DWI lawyers in Austin might be able to help.
What the Law Says
Like it or not, Texas (and many other states) define intoxication the same way, no matter the substance.
The Texas penal code extends its definition of intoxication to include drugs–both legal and illegal–and other substances.
Whether it’s pain medication, alcohol, or an illegal substance like marijuana–if you don’t have your normal mental and physical capacities while driving, you’re breaking the law in Texas.
If you’re pulled over and the officer thinks you may be intoxicated, you can be tested for alcohol or other substances.
But, unlike alcohol, there is no legal limit for marijuana in Texas. If you consent to a test, any amount may incriminate you.
What Happens Next?
If you are arrested, the court system will, more than likely, treat your case very similar to an alcohol-related case.
Once you’ve been arrested, you could then be charged with a DUI or DWI.
At this point, you may end up losing your license for at least 90 days.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
Whether it’s your first conviction or third, the penalties vary for driving under the influence of marijuana or other substances.
If you have a minor in the car, the penalties can get even steeper.
According to the Texas penal code, here’s what you could be convicted of if you’ve been driving under the influence of marijuana or other substances:
If it’s your first conviction, you could face a fine of up to $2,000 and spend anywhere from 72 hours to 180 days in jail. Plus, you could have your license suspended for up to a year and receive 24 to 100 hours of community service.
Second Offense and Beyond
For second or third convictions, you could be looking at fines of up to $10,000 and up to ten years in prison. License suspensions can reach from 180 days to two years, plus community service of up to 600 hours.
What DWI Lawyers in Austin Can Help You With
If you’ve been charged in a marijuana-related case and were driving under the influence, DWI lawyers in Austin can help.
Just because marijuana was involved, Don’t assume that you need an attorney with a different skill set. Texas doesn’t limit its definition of intoxication to alcohol.
Local attorneys, who know the area and the laws around intoxication are your best bet. Get in touch with us today.