The state of Texas prosecutes repeated intoxication and alcoholic beverage offenses with enhanced penalties that are mandated by statute. A second conviction under this section will be followed by heavier consequences, making it well worth the effort to seek defense against such charges.
If you have been arrested or charged with an intoxication and alcoholic beverage offense in Texas, call Blass Law at (832) 430-7827 for a consultation. We will fight on your behalf to preserve your future.
Increased Penalties for Repeat Alcohol or Drug Offenses
Under Texas law, a second conviction of an intoxication and alcoholic beverage offense will be considered a enhanced offense, even if they are not the same crime. For example, if you have previously been convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI), and you are then convicted of boating while intoxicated (BWI), you may be facing the enhanced consequences of Texas Penal Code Sec. 49.09: Enhanced Offenses and Penalties.
In Texas, a person is considered legally intoxicated when they do not have “the normal use of mental or physical faculties” due to the presence of alcohol, a controlled substance, drugs, or a combination of these items in the body. Law enforcement determines the presence and level of alcohol in a person by measuring their blood alcohol content (BAC). Various methods can be used to detect the percentage of alcohol present in the blood, and the legal BAC is 0.08.
Because many factors can influence the outcome of a BAC test, law enforcement also puts weight on the “normal faculties” aspect of its intoxication laws. Police test a person’s mental and physical faculties by asking them to perform Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. These exercises are difficult for most people. Some people aren’t good candidates for these tests, such as those more than 50 lbs overweight. These field sobriety tests give us a lot to work with when defending your case.
Types of Intoxication-Related Offenses in Texas
Intoxication- and alcoholic-beverage-related crimes in Texas include:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving while intoxicated with a child passenger
- Flying while intoxicated
- Boating while intoxicated
- Operating or assembling an amusement ride while intoxicated
- Intoxication assault
- Intoxicated manslaughter
If you have a prior conviction for any of these types of offenses, you may then be charged per Texas Penal Code Sec. 49.09: Enhanced Offenses and Penalties. Your lawyer can help you build a case that protects you from these and other charges.
Types of Enhanced Penalties
Some enhanced penalties available under § 49.09 include:
- Minimum confinement of 30 days up to 20 years
- Minimum $2,000 fine
- Suspension or revocation of Texas driver’s license
- Community service
- Community supervision
- Random drug testing at your expense
- Court-mandated counseling
- Suspension or revocation of professional licenses
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings
- Interlock installation in your vehicle
- Impounded vehicle
Additional Considerations for Intoxication Offense Charges
If you seriously injured someone while flying, driving, or assembling or operating an amusement park ride while intoxicated, you may be charged with a third-degree felony. If you were intoxicated when you caused the death of another person, you can be charged with a second-degree felony. If you caused injury to a law enforcement officer, emergency medical professional, firefighter, or judge, you may be sentenced to further enhanced penalties.
Blass Law Can Protect Your Rights
At Blass Law, we know and understand the procedures that law enforcement officers use to investigate intoxication-related offenses in Texas. These investigations must be conducted within the scope of certain rules if the evidence they yield is to be considered reliable and admissible in court.
For example, if mistakes were made during the administration of the breath test, BAC readings could be inaccurate, and the evidence may be subject to challenge, excluded from court, or even form the basis of your case being dismissed.
In the event that an officer deviates from investigative protocols or violates your constitutional rights, Blass Law will conduct our own investigation, review all of the state’s evidence, and aggressively challenge your intoxication crime charge. We may be able to:
- Get your case dismissed
- Get charges reduced
- Negotiate plea deals for lower offenses
- Argue for a reduced sentence
- Reverse your driver’s license suspension
Let us do everything possible to defend you and get the best possible outcome for your case. Call Blass Law today at (832) 430-7827 today for a confidential case evaluation.
Let Blass Law Start Building Your Defense Today
Developing a defense against intoxication and alcoholic beverage crimes in Texas takes time. Generally, the more complex your case is, the longer your defense may take to form. Furthermore, you are provided only a limited amount of time to prepare your defense after charges are filed. It is vital to begin this process as soon as possible.
For all these reasons, if you are arrested or charged with an intoxication crime in Texas, we recommend that you do not speak to law enforcement without calling a criminal defense law firm first.
Blass Law has helped many individuals and families achieve favorable results in Texas intoxication crime cases. Call our firm today at (832) 430-7827 today for a confidential case evaluation.