Penalties for Intoxication Assault in Texas

As a licensed Texas driver, surely, you’ve known that it’s against the law to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol for some time. You are probably aware that if you’re caught drunk driving, you could be arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). Under Section 49.064 of the Texas Penal Code, Driving While Intoxicated, you commit the offense of DWI if you are intoxicated while driving in a public place.

What does intoxicated mean? Does it mean your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or above? Under Section 49.01(2)(A), intoxicated is defined 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 in the body.” It also means to have a BAC of .08% or more.

Understanding DWI With Injuries

Now that I have defined DWI under the law, let’s take a look at the offense of intoxication assault under Section 49.07 of the Texas Penal Code. A person commits the offense of intoxication assault if while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or both, the individual accidentally causes serious bodily injury to another person.

Under Sec. 49.07, ‘“serious bodily injury’ means injury that creates a substantial risk or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”

Examples of how a driver can be charged with intoxication assault:

  • A drunk driver’s passenger is hospitalized for a week due to head injuries.
  • A drunk driver strikes a pedestrian, breaking her legs.
  • A drugged driver falls asleep at the wheel, and strikes another car head-on, causing the other driver to be in a coma for two days.
  • A man is driving under the influence of Ambien. He loses control of his vehicle, strikes a motorcyclist, causing the motorcycle rider to break his legs and suffer from a traumatic brain injury.

Usually, intoxication assault is a felony of the third degree, punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison, and by a possible fine not to exceed $10,000. If you are facing DWI-related charges in Fort Worth, contact my firm at once for a free consultation.

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