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By Benson Varghese

Published on: February 25th, 2020 at 8:44 PM
Last Updated: September 10th, 2020 at 1:56 PM

Intoxication crimes generally refer to offenses that occur as a result of being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both. They include DWI, boating while intoxicated, intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter, among others.

Intoxication charges can have far-reaching consequences. These types of cases can impact your family, your future, and your freedom. They can also be very complex and challenging. That’s why it’s crucial to contact an experienced intoxication crimes lawyer as soon as possible if you are facing an intoxication-related charge.

Our Fort Worth intoxication crimes attorneys are experienced in handling all types of intoxication offenses and have a proven record of success. Our criminal defense attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case, scrutinize all of the facts and evidence, and develop the best defense strategy possible.

What are Texas’ Intoxication Crimes?

There are nine intoxication and alcoholic beverage charges listed in Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code. Most are very common charges that you have heard about. Others are less familiar. They include:

Public Intoxication

Public intoxication occurs when a person is so intoxicated in public that they pose a danger to themselves or others. Public intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine.

Possession of Alcoholic Beverage in Motor Vehicle (Open Container)

Texas’ open container law prohibits an individual from possessing an open container of alcohol in a vehicle on a public highway, regardless of whether the vehicle is being driven, stopped or parked. Possessing an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable up to a $500 fine.

Driving While Intoxicated

In Texas, a motorist can be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) if he or she is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. Under the law, a driver is considered intoxicated if he or she does not have normal use of their mental or physical faculties due to alcohol, drugs or a combination of both, or the driver has a blood alcohol concentration of at least .08. A first-time DWI conviction is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in the county jail. However, the punishment can go up if the driver’s BAC is over .15 or if he or she has previous convictions for DWI.

Driving While Intoxicated with Child Passenger

A person commits the offense of DWI with a child passenger if he or she is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle that is occupied with a passenger who is under age 15. DWI with a child passenger is a state jail felony, punishable by six months to two years in a state jail facility.

Flying While Intoxicated

A pilot can be charged with Flying While Intoxicated (FWI) if he or she operates an aircraft while intoxicated. Specifically, the Federal Aviation Administration prohibits pilots from operating an aircraft within eight hour hours of having consumed alcohol and they must not have a blood alcohol content of .04 or greater. Under Texas law, if a pilot is charged with FYI – and has no priors or aggravating circumstance – they face a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail.

Boating While Intoxicated

A person commits Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) if he or she is intoxicated while operating a watercraft. The punishment for BWI ranges from 72 hours confinement to up to 180 days in jail.

Assembling or Operating an Amusement Park Ride While Intoxicated

Although uncommon, a person can be arrested for assembling or operating an amusement park ride while intoxicated. This charge is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail.

Intoxication Assault

Intoxication assault occurs when an intoxicated driver causes serious bodily injury to another person. It usually occurs when someone is injured in a traffic wreck. Intoxication assault is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison.

Intoxication Manslaughter

Intoxication manslaughter is the most severe intoxication crime in Texas. It is committed when an intoxicated driver causes the death of another person. It is a heart-wrenching offense because the driver obviously never intended to kill someone. Intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony that carries a punishment range of two to 20 years in prison.

What are the Consequences for Intoxication Offenses?

The punishment for intoxication offenses vary depending on the crime. For example, public intoxication is punishable by a ticket, while people convicted of intoxication manslaughter face up to 20 years in prison. People arrested for an intoxication offense may also lose their driver’s license and be required to have an interlock on their vehicle, take drug or alcohol tests and classes, and pay fines.

Regardless of the final outcome of the case, people convicted of intoxication offenses will likely also endure collateral consequences or side effects. This could the loss of employment, professional licenses, even child custody. Our team of intoxication crimes lawyers will work to minimize the negative impact an intoxication crime can have on your life.

Contact an Experienced Intoxication Crimes Lawyer Today

You are not alone. Nice people with great jobs and lovely families get arrested for alcohol-related offenses every day. In fact, most people will have been impacted, either directly indirectly, by an intoxication offense at some point in their lives.

If you or a loved one is facing charges of DWI, intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter or another intoxication offense, it is imperative that you contact an experienced intoxication crimes lawyer as soon as possible. The stakes can be very high in these types of charges and your freedom and livelihood could be in jeopardy. We are experienced in handling all types of intoxication offenses and we will leave no stone unturned. If there is an issue with your case we will find it and, rest assured, we will fight for you every step of the way.