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Penalties for Intoxication Manslaughter

As a licensed Texas driver, you are well-aware of the fact that it’s unlawful to drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs. It’s also illegal to drive under the influence of lawfully-prescribed medications if they impair your ability to drive safely.

A medication can make it unsafe to drive when it causes drowsiness, dizziness, hallucinations, confusion, muscle weakness, and other conditions that make it less safe to drive. The laws on drunk and drugged driving can be found under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code.

Sometimes, alcohol, an illegal drug, or even a prescription medication, can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle and in effect, the impaired driver takes another person’s life. This victim can be the impaired driver’s passenger. It can be another driver or another driver’s passenger. It can be a motorcyclist, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian.

Felony Punishment for Impaired Driving Involving Death

Whether the impaired driving involved alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medication, when an impaired driver takes another person’s life as a direct result of drunk or drugged driving, they commit the crime of intoxication manslaughter under Section 49.08 of the Texas Penal Code – a serious felony offense.

Under Sec. 49.08, a person commits this offense when he or she accidentally takes another person’s life while operating a motor vehicle, a watercraft, an aircraft, or an amusement park ride in public, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The offense of intoxication manslaughter is a felony of the second degree, punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000, and by 2 to 20 years in prison.

As you can imagine, no one climbs behind the wheel thinking they’ll be so impaired, they’ll end up taking an innocent person’s life. In fact, many of the people who commit this crime are everyday people without criminal records, and a conviction for intoxication manslaughter is absolutely devastating for them and their families.

Are you facing DWI charges in Dallas, Plano, or Fort Worth? If so, contact our firm at once for the hard-hitting defense your case demands.