Texas DWI defense attorneyWhile DWI (driving while intoxicated) itself is a very serious offense, the most serious offense related to such a crime is intoxication manslaughter. This is no coincidence—the whole purpose of law enforcement serving and protecting other civilian drivers from those drivers who are intoxicated is to maintain their safety from serious injury or death. When an intoxicated driver kills someone by accident or mistake, the offense is referred to as intoxication manslaughter, and its penalties are very serious indeed.

What Constitutes Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas?

In the state of Texas, the law defines “intoxication manslaughter” as follows:

“An individual is committing the offense of intoxication manslaughter if that person operates a motor vehicle in a public space, an aircraft, a watercraft, an amusement ride, or assembles an amusement ride while being intoxicated with a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than or equal to .08% in which the aforementioned intoxication causes the death of another by mistake or accident.”

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San Antonio DWI defense attorneyIt is late. You are drunk and far away from home. You know driving at this stage of drunkenness would be illegal, but you also cannot afford the money necessary to get all the way back home from where you are. What are your options? Call a friend or family member? “Sleep it off” on a public bench and risk being arrested? Risk driving home anyway and then eventually getting charged with DWI (driving while intoxicated) or worse depending on what happens while you are driving drunk? There is another option all across Texas, including the “Sobering Unit” at Roberto L. Jimenez M.D. Restoration Center (“Drunk Tank” for “down-and-outs”) in San Antonio. These sobering centers offer a compelling alternative for both law enforcement and drunk civilians, including those contemplating driving home drunk. Here is why.

“Sobering Center” Defined

Sobering centers are seen as intermediaries between actual arrests with legal consequences for drunkenness that disrupts the peace and expensive hospital visits for excessive drinking. In short, these sobering centers are short-term recovery facilities where drunk or otherwise inebriated civilians can “sleep it off” and get a chance to regain their sobriety less the headaches of the morning after with the option to continue with recovery programs and other treatment options.

What Makes Sobering Centers a Productive Alternative to DWI?

While originally intended as a means to get drunk people off the streets and into recovery programs, should they choose, the sobering centers have proven themselves useful in many ways to many people for a multitude of different reasons: 

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San Antonio intoxication manslaughter attorneyDWI (driving while intoxicated), DUI (driving under the influence), and even BWI (boating while intoxicated) are all common charges throughout the San Antonio area. However, one charge is not discussed nearly as often and yet has very serious consequences, in and outside of the courtroom: intoxication assault. Here is how Texas law defines intoxication assault, including its associated terminology and penalties.

Intoxication Assault Defined

Per Section 49.07 of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits intoxication assault if that person causes serious bodily injury to another: 

  • While operating an aircraft, watercraft, or amusement ride while intoxicated;
  • While operating a vehicle in a public place while intoxicated; or
  • As a result of assembling an amusement ride while intoxicated.

There are two key phrases in this definition of intoxication assault: "while intoxicated" and "serious bodily injury." In terms of operating motor vehicles or other modes of transportation while intoxicated, in Texas, an adult of the age of 21 or older cannot operate such a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. When that happens, a charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is filed against the intoxicated driver; however, compound that with “serious bodily injury” of someone else, and there is intoxication assault.

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San Antonio DWI defense attorneyWhile being arrested and charged with DWI In Texas is bad enough, carrying with it the potential for severe penalties, including fines of up to $2,000, jail time of up to 180 days, and a license suspension if convicted for the first time alone, being charged with additional crimes at the same time certainly exacerbates your likelihood of a lighter sentence. These additional crimes, often referred to as “enhancements” when charged, will compound and complicate your DWI charges, leading to steeper penalties and punishments. Here is a profile of some common DWI enhancements.

10 Common Enhancements That Might Accompany a DWI

There are myriad charges that can accompany a DWI if you are not careful. Here are some particularly common simultaneous enhancements that could compound your sentencing and make your case much more difficult to defend. 

Such enhancements include:

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San Antonio DWI defense attorneysWith periods of “No Refusal” for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) testing being expanded across Texas, it is useful to know your rights when it comes to breath tests, blood tests, urine tests, and other sobriety tests. In particular, you must consider “implied consent” and how it can affect you if pulled over for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas.

What Is Implied Consent?

While it might seem otherwise, driving throughout the United States is considered a privilege and not a right. This is why when you first get a driver’s license you are required to take tests. In taking and passing those tests and agreeing to the terms of your licensure, you are essentially waiving your rights to be reckless on the road. Most roads are public roads anyway, governed by the rules set forth by your local jurisdiction. To break those rules is to put other people’s safety at risk, which is against the law. By getting that driver’s license, you are giving your “implied consent” to have your blood or your breath tested for alcohol content, which can impair your driving abilities.

Even with Implied Consent, Can You Still Refuse a Blood or Breath Test?

You can refuse to have a chemical test conducted to determine the blood alcohol content in your body if stopped for DWI in Texas, but doing so often carries with it relatively stiff administrative penalties, including:

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Office

Bexar County

In the historic King William District

1011 S. Alamo,
San Antonio, Texas 78210
210-226-0965
888-726-5625 Toll Free
210-226-7540

Office

Guadalupe County

109 Court Street,
Seguin, Texas 78155
830-372-1522
888-726-5625 Toll Free