“INTOXICATED” - What Does It Mean in a Texas DWI?
Sept. 30, 2022
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE INTOXICATED in Texas?
Section 49.01 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure defines Intoxication as follows:
TX Penal Code §49.01 - Definitions
(A) not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or
(B) having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
So “Intoxicated” in Texas can mean any one of three different things:
1. The loss of the normal use of your mental faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol or a controlled substance, a drug or a dangerous drug (or any combination of them) into your body;
2. The loss of the normal use of your physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol or a controlled substance, a drug or a dangerous drug (or any combination of them) into your body;
3. You have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher.
Consequently, agreeing to give a police officer a sample of your breath or blood during a Driving While Intoxicated investigation, which later reveals your blood alcohol concentration to be below 0.08 would not necessarily prevent the State of Texas from arresting you for Driving While Intoxicated or from prosecuting yours for Driving While Intoxicated. This is because the State of Texas can and will attempt to prove that you were intoxicated by using either of the other two definitions of intoxicated:
- Loss of the normal use of your mental faculties; or
- Loss of the normal use of your physical faculties.
The State of Texas is not limited to which of the three definitions of “Intoxicated” that they can use against you at the trial of your Driving While Intoxicated case.
In fact, for the purpose of convicting you of Driving While Intoxicated, the State of Texas will not require a Texas Jury to unanimously agree as to which of the three definitions of “Intoxicated” they believe were proved beyond a reasonable doubt. In essence, similar to a salad bar of legal proof, a Texas Jury will be permitted to pick and chose which definition of “Intoxicated” they believe the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
In Summary, there is little to no advantage in your providing a specimen of your breath or blood in a Driving While Intoxicated Investigation. By providing a specimen of your breath or blood, you may be giving a Texas Jury the opportunity to consider a third additional definition of “Intoxicated” if your alcohol concentration is 0.08 or higher.
Protect Yourself & Defend Your Rights
If you are charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) protect yourself and contact The Law Offices of Justin K. Hall. Schedule a free consultation by calling 972-882-9424.