Texas Penal Code Sec. 49.01: Definitions defines several terms related to driving while intoxicated (DWI) and other drunk or drugged behavior. This includes “alcohol concentration” and “intoxicated.” This section of the penal code also explains the state’s definition of:
- Motor vehicle
- Amusement ride
- Mobile amusement ride
Why Define These Terms?
Section 49 of the Texas Penal Code deals with:
- Drunk driving
- Public intoxication (Section 49.02)
- Intoxication assault (Section 49.07)
- Intoxication manslaughter (Section 49.08)
- Other offenses related to drunk or drugged behavior
Without strict definitions to outline the parameters of what these words mean, it would be open to interpretation.
This would make it difficult or impossible to identify, arrest, and prosecute someone who was putting others in danger because of their use of “alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances.”
Being open to interpretation could also make it possible for the state to convict someone who was not actually guilty of DWI.
Understanding Intoxication and Alcohol Concentration In Texas
In general, the two most important parts of Texas Penal Code Sec. 49.01 include the definitions of “alcohol concentration” and “intoxicated.” These reaffirm the state’s legal limit and offer details about how testing for alcohol.
Alcohol Concentration Definition
Alcohol concentration, as defined in this section of the Penal Code, relates to the number of grams of alcohol in your system when the police, medical personnel, or other officials test:
- 210 liters of your breath;
- 100 milliliters of your blood; or
- 67 milliliters of your urine
Texas defines “intoxicated” in two ways. The first is a general description, allowing for more interpretation. Under this definition, a person is intoxicated when they do not have their usual mental or physical abilities because they used alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances.
The second definition of “intoxicated” reaffirms the Texas legal limit for adults: “having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.”
Penalties for Texas DWI Offenses
Because of Texas Penal Code Sec. 49.01 and related laws in this section, the police can stop you, test you, and arrest you for drinking and driving, called DWI in Texas, or driving under the influence of drugs. Texas takes these offenses seriously.
If you face a Texas DWI conviction, you may receive:
- Jail time
- Mandatory attendance in a state-approved Alcohol Awareness Program
- A suspension of your driver’s license
- Community service
- Probation (known as “community supervision” in the statute)
Texas law only allows the judge to probate a jail sentence and driver’s license suspension on a first offense. In second and subsequent DWI convictions, you will need to serve the jail sentence and suspension ordered.
Penalties increase significantly after your third DWI arrest, or when convicted of more significant charges. Intoxication manslaughter, for example, calls for up to 20 years in prison.
Talk to a Texas DWI Defense Attorney Today
If the police arrested you for DWI, the team from Eddington Worley is here to help. Call us today at 855-600-6695 to learn more or get started immediately.