If you’ve thought to yourself, “It’s much safer to drive while high than drunk,” you have plenty of company. There are a lot of people who have been high and drunk before and they’ll quickly argue that they believe it’s safer to drive under the influence of marijuana rather than alcohol. You know it’s illegal to drink and drive in Texas and across the nation. You know that Texas still criminalizes marijuana possession (though some other states, such as Colorado, Nevada and California have decriminalized possessing a small amount of pot for personal use), but what about driving under the influence of marijuana, is that illegal?
What Texas Law Says
Driving while intoxicated is covered under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code. Under Sec. 49.04(a) it says, “A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.” But, what counts as “intoxicated”? Section 4.01(2)(a) defines it as, “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body.” Intoxicated also means having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more.
What the Government Says
Some people believe it’s perfectly safe to drive under the influence of marijuana, but research says otherwise. According to drugabuse.gov, “Marijuana is the illicit drug most frequently found in the blood of drivers who have been involved in vehicle crashes, including fatal ones.” The site continues, “Two large European studies found that drivers with THC in their blood were roughly twice as likely to be culpable for a fatal crash than drivers who had not used drugs or alcohol.”