Overview of Specific DWI Offenses

Alcohol Related Criminal Charges

The state of Texas has defined intoxication and alcoholic beverage offenses listed in the Texas Penal Code under Title 10 Chapter 49. Here is a quick review.

Understanding Intoxication & Texas Law

Intoxicated: Texas Penal Code § 49.01

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; or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.

Understanding Public Intoxication & Texas Law

Public Intoxication: Texas Penal Code § 49.02

A person commits an offense if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another.
Punishment: Class C misdemeanor.

Understanding Open Container Violations & Texas Law

Open Container-Possession of Alcoholic Beverage: Texas Penal Code § 49.03

A person commits an offense if the person knowingly possesses an open container in a passenger area of a motor vehicle that is located on a public highway, regardless of whether the vehicle is being operated or is stopped or parked. Possession by a person of one or more open containers in a single criminal episode is a single offense. Open container: Means a bottle, can, or other receptacle that contains any amount of alcoholic beverage and that is open, that has been opened, that has a broken seal, or the contents of which are partially removed.

Understanding DWI Offenses & Texas Law

Driving While Intoxicated: Texas Penal Code § 49.04

A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. Second and third (and all other subsequent) DWIs have more severe consequences than a first DWI offense.

Driving While Intoxicated With Child Passenger: Texas Penal Code § 49.045

A person commits an offense if: the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place; and the vehicle being operated by the person is occupied by a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age.
Punishment: State jail felony.

Boating While Intoxicated: Texas Penal Code § 49.06.

A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a watercraft.
Punishment: Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours.

Flying While Intoxicated: Texas Penal Code § 49.05.

A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating an aircraft.
Punishment: Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours.

Intoxication Assault: Texas Penal Code § 49.07

A person commits an offense if the person, by accident or mistake: while operating an aircraft, watercraft, or amusement ride while intoxicated, or while operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, by reason of that intoxication causes serious bodily injury to another. (Serious Bodily Injury: an injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.)
Punishment: felony of the third degree.

  • Up to $10,000 fine
  • 2 to 10 years in the state penitentiary
  • Drivers license suspension: 180 days to one year

Intoxication Manslaughter: Texas Penal Code § 49.08

A person commits an offense if the person: operates a motor vehicle in a public place, operates an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride; and is intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake.
Punishment: felony of the second degree.

  • Up to $10,000 fine
  • 2 to 20 years in the state penitentiary
  • Drivers license suspension: 180 days to 2 years

Houston DWI Attorney Tad NelsonAll alcohol related charges are serious. At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we take pride in our successful defense of these cases. Our criminal defense law firm is committed to defending our clients against all charges. Please contact Tad Nelson at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates as soon as possible for a free consultation.

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Source: Texas Constitution & Statutes

Overview of Specific DWI Offenses

The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates