Intoxication and Alcohol Offenses include the “drunk driving” offense of DWI, driving under the influence (DUI), and other offenses related to operating a vehicle or dangerous machinery while intoxicated. Under Texas law, “intoxicated” includes the effect of alcohol, drugs or a combination of both, whether or not these are prescribed to you.
The list of Intoxication & Alcohol Offenses is below:
PC 49.02 – Public Intoxication
PC 49.04 – Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”)
PC 49.045 – Driving While Intoxicated With Child Passenger
PC 49.05 – Flying While Intoxicated
PC 49.06 – Boating While Intoxicated
PC 49.061 – Boating While Intoxicated with Child Passenger
PC 49.065 – Assembling or Operating an Amusement Park Ride While Intoxicated
PC 49.07 – Intoxication Assault
PC 49.08 – Intoxication Manslaughter
ABC 106.041 – Driving or Operating Watercraft Under the Influence of Alcohol by a Minor (“DUI“)
What is the definition of intoxicated?
The definition of “intoxication” under Texas law is very important in the field of DWI Defense. Many DWI defense strategies depend on whether a defendant was “intoxicated” under the law. While the definition provided in Texas law is clear, the meaning of the definition is less straightforward.
The law provides three different ways a person can be intoxicated:
- not having the normal use of mental 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;
- not having the normal use of 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;
- having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more (easiest to prove)
While the third way (having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more) is fairly straightforward, the other two prongs are not necessarily. The term “normal use of mental or physical faculties” is a matter of interpretation and can be different from person to person.
How many drinks does it take to be intoxicated?
The number of drinks it takes for you to be intoxicated depends on several different factors that are unique to your body. It also depends on the type of alcohol and the way you drink it.
How many drinks it will take for you to be intoxicated will depends on many factors like whether you had any food in your stomach, how much water you had been drinking, how much sleep you have had recently, the type of alcohol you were drinking, abnormalities in your body and others.
How can I be intoxicated if I blew under a 0.08?
Although that is one way to show intoxication, the state does not have to show that your blood alcohol concentration was above 0.08 if they can prove that you did not have “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."
What this means is that if you did not provide any physical evidence like a blood or breath sample, you can still be considered “intoxicated” under Texas law and possibly convicted of a DWI if the state can prove that you were not acting “normal” because you had been drinking.
What if I did not blow or give blood?
Even if you gave a blood or breath sample and the sample produced results under a 0.08 BAC, then you can still be convicted of driving while intoxicated.
What does the law mean by blood “alcohol concentration”?
For the purposes of DWI charges, alcohol concentration is defined in Texas law as the number of grams of alcohol per:
(A) 210 liters of breath;
(B) 100 milliliters of blood; or
(C) 67 milliliters of urine.
What are the new fines for intoxicated operation of motor vehicle offenses?
Transportation Code Section 709.001(a) imposes additional fines for all offenses “relating to the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated." These new fines range from $3,000 to $6,000, and are as follows:
- (1) $3,000 for the first conviction within a 36-month period;
- (2) $4,500 for a second or subsequent conviction within a 36-month period; and
- (3) $6,000 for a first or subsequent conviction if it is shown on the trial of the offense that an analysis of a specimen of the person’s blood, breath, or urine showed an alcohol concentration level of 0.15 or more at the time the analysis was performed.