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Intoxication Assault

It’s common knowledge that driving while impaired on drugs or alcohol (DWI) is a crime. When a DWI results in serious injury to another person, it’s referred to as intoxication assault. Intoxication assault is an incredibly serious offense under Texas law. If convicted, you could face felony charges.

Intoxication assault can lead to serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment. Because of this, the District Attorney’s Office is highly pressured to prosecute the crime to the fullest extent of the law. Don’t wait in uncertainty for another moment. If you or someone you know has been charged with intoxication assault, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Attorney for Intoxication Assault in Houston, Texas

If you have been charged with intoxication assault, it’s important that you understand the full legal ramifications of the crime. Intoxication assault can result in steep fines and possible prison time. In addition, you could have your license suspended and an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.

It’s crucial you have a defense plan to fight these charges. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. today. Our attorneys are experienced and have represented numerous people with DWI charges. We will outline your legal options, inform you throughout the process and provide the best possible defense for you.

Call us now at (713) 224-5529 to schedule a consultation today. We accept clients throughout the greater Harris County area including Tomball, Bellaire, Houston, Cypress and Pasadena.

Overview of Intoxication Assault in Texas


Intoxication Assault Under Texas Law

It’s illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Texas.  If an accident leads to serious injury, the crime could be reclassified as intoxication assault. Texas Penal Code § 49.07 states the elements for intoxication assault that must be proven at trial include:

  • The defendant was operating a motor vehicle intoxicated; and
  • The defendant’s intoxicated state caused serious bodily injury to another person.

Intoxication assault doesn’t just include traditional motor vehicles. You can be charged with intoxication assault while operating an aircraft, watercraft or assembling an amusement park ride.

Texas law defines serious bodily injury as any injury that causes a risk of death or serious permanent disfigurement, protracted loss or impaired function of a body part. Examples of a serious bodily injury include amputated limbs, severe brain injury or extreme facial disfigurement.


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Texas Penalties for Intoxication Assault

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states Texas had the highest number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2016. This has caused the state of Texas to impose harsh penalties for those whose DWI lead to serious injury or death.

Intoxication assault is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 10 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

Additionally, the court is required to impose a minimum two-year jail sentence. Certain factors can enhance your penalties. If your DWI resulted in traumatic brain injury which caused the victim to be in a persistent vegetative state, you may be facing a second-degree felony.

The penalties for a second-degree felony include:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

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How is Intoxication Defined Under Texas Law?

The state of Texas defines intoxication in two ways; blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) or an assessment of your physical and mental faculties. Typically, law enforcement will use chemical testing to analyze your blood-alcohol concentration. These tests include blood analysis, breath analysis and urinalysis.

Texas Penal Code § 49.01 measures BAC by number of grams of alcohol per:

  • 100 milliliters of blood;
  • 67 milliliters of urine; or
  • 210 liters of breath.

Texas considers a BAC of .08 to official limit for intoxication. People who are tested with a BAC of .08 or higher will be arrested for driving under the influence. However, law enforcement doesn’t only rely on chemical testing to evaluate a person’s impairment level. In some cases, police officers may use field sobriety testing to assess a person’s physical and mental faculties.

Only standardized field sobriety tests by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) are considered admissible in court. These tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk-and-turn, and the one-leg stand. Police officers may ask the offender to perform these tests so they can evaluate their impairment level.


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Intoxication Manslaughter

If your DWI accident resulted in the death of another person, you could be charged with intoxication manslaughter. Even if the death was caused by a mistake or was on accident. Intoxication manslaughter is a serious offense that can result in a second-degree felony.

The penalties for a second-degree felony include:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

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Additional Resources

Texas DWI Laws – Visit the official website for Texas Legislature to find more information surrounding intoxication assault. Access the statutes to learn more about intoxication manslaughter, public intoxication and other alcohol-related offenses.

DUI Fatal and Injury Statistics – Visit the official website for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to learn more about DWI crashes in Texas. Access the document to learn the number of fatal crashes, accidents with serious injury and non-incapacitating DWI accidents in 2017.


Lawyer for Intoxication Assault in Harris County

Texas driving statistics show that the state has an ongoing issue with drunk driving. This means that law enforcement on high alert for DWI offenders. In cases where serious bodily injury occurs, it’s guaranteed the courts will try everything to aggressively prosecute the crime. If you or someone you know has been charged with intoxication assault, it’s important you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Call the attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. today to assess your charges. We are experienced in all types of DWI charges, including intoxication assault. Tyler Flood, our managing attorney, has been designated as an ACS-CHAL Lawyer-Scientists, meaning he has an in-depth understanding of the science behind DWI cases. He can utilize his resources, knowledge and experience to help you mount a strong defense.

Contact us today at (713) 224-5529 for a case consultation. We accept clients throughout all parts of the Houston area and surrounding communities including Tomball, Bellaire, Pasadena, and West University Place.



This article was last updated on March 8th, 2019.

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