As a licensed driver in Texas, you’re familiar with the fact that you can be arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) if you’re caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more. If you’re like a lot of people, your knowledge about DWI may be limited to that. However, Texas’ DWI laws are far more involved than most people think.
For starters, you can be arrested and charged with DWI if your BAC is less than .08%. All the state has to do is prove that your ability to drive was “impaired” by the introduction of alcohol or drugs, or by a combination of the two.
What about DWI accidents? It’s common knowledge that DWI crashes take innocent people’s lives every day. What are the repercussions of causing a DWI accident that causes someone else to get seriously injured?
Intoxicated Assault Charges in Texas
In Texas, the crime of injuring another person because of driving while intoxicated is called intoxication assault, which is covered under Section 49.07 of the Texas Penal Code. You commit the offense of intoxication assault if while driving on a public road, you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, and you cause serious bodily injury to another.
What qualifies as serious bodily injury? It means that the injury:
- Created a substantial risk of death,
- Resulted in serious permanent disfigurement,
- Caused protracted impairment of a bodily member or organ, or
- Caused protracted loss of a bodily member or organ.
There are many ways that an injury can fall into any of the above categories after a DWI crash. For example, a victim can sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and be in the ICU for a month. Or, the victim can break their legs and be unable to walk for several months.
Suppose a victim’s teeth were knocked out and it took them nearly a year to go through multiple dental surgeries to replace the lost teeth with dental implants. All of these examples would be considered “serious bodily injuries.”
Intoxication manslaughter 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.
Facing intoxication assault charges in Plano, Dallas or Fort Worth? Contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC for a hard-hitting defense.