In Texas and across the nation, it’s common knowledge that it’s against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even lawfully prescribed prescription medications. The crime of Driving While Intoxicated or DWI is covered under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, “About every 20 minutes in Texas, someone is hurt or killed in a crash involving alcohol.” So, what happens to all of these drunk and drugged drivers in Texas who unintentionally take the lives of innocent drivers, passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists? They are charged with Intoxication Manslaughter under Section 49.08 of the Texas Penal Code.
A person commits the offense of Intoxication Manslaughter when he or she takes another person’s life while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. An offense under Sec. 49.08 is a felony of the second degree, punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison, and by a fine not to exceed $10,000.
What is Intoxication Assault?
If a drunk or drugged driver causes serious bodily injury to another person, such as another driver or passenger, a pedestrian, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or even the drunk driver’s own passenger, but the individual does not die, then the drunk driver would be charged with Intoxication Assault under Section 49.07 of the Texas Penal Code. Intoxication Assault is a felony of the third degree, punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison, and by a fine not to exceed $10,000.
In reality, anyone can be charged with Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter, even if the individual had zero intention of harming anybody. This means that even a soccer mom, or an upstanding school teacher could be sent to prison if they seriously injure or kill someone else while under the influence of alcohol or any drugs. DWI charges don’t discriminate and they are frequently charged against good people who made a serious mistake.
Need a Plano DWI attorney to defend you against felony DWI charges? Contact our firm today to schedule an evaluation with a member of our legal team.