The news is littered with the terrible cases of people who have been involved in some type of alcohol related criminal case. Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a very common charge and usually reported in the news when the person arrested for DWI is famous or caused some type of horrible accident. The Texas Penal Code provides definitions of the various types of offenses related to alcohol and intoxication. This article will briefly identify those offenses listed in Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code.
1. DWI: A person operates a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. Intoxicated means not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol into the body or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. (Class B Misdemeanor)
2. Public Intoxication: A person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another. (Class C Misdemeanor)
3. Possession of Alcoholic Beverage in Motor Vehicle: 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. (Class C Misdemeanor)
4. DWI with Child Passenger: A person operates a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated and a passenger in the vehicle is younger than 15 years old. (State Jail Felony)
5. Flying While Intoxicated: A person operates an aircraft while intoxicated. (Class B Misdemeanor)
6. Boating While Intoxicated: A person operates a watercraft while intoxicated. (Class B Misdemeanor)
7. Assembling or Operating an Amusement Ride While Intoxicated: A person assembles or operates an amusement ride while intoxicated. (Class B Misdemeanor)
8. Intoxication Assault: A person, while intoxicated, by accident or mistake while driving a motor vehicle, watercraft, aircraft, or operating or assembling an amusement ride causes serious bodily injury to another. (Third Degree Felony)
9. Intoxication Manslaughter: A person, while intoxicated, operates a motor vehicle, watercraft, aircraft, or operating or assembling an amusement ride causes the death of another. (Second Degree Felony)
Depending on prior convictions, some of the offenses listed above can be enhanced to higher offenses with higher penalties. This is strictly for information purposes so you can be informed of basic laws in Texas. Our office will discuss your particular situation for free.
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