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Intoxication Assault in Texas – Punishment & Jail Time

Texas Penal Code 49.07 – Intoxication Assault

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What is intoxication assault?

Let’s take a quick look at the statute defining what “intoxication assault” is, found in 49.07(a)(1)-(2) (shown in italics below):

“A person commits an offense if the person, by accident or mistake:

(1)  while operating an aircraft, watercraft, or amusement ride while intoxicated, or while operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, by reason of that intoxication causes serious bodily injury to another; or

(2)  as a result of assembling a mobile amusement ride while intoxicated causes serious bodily injury to another.”

49.07(a)(1) tells us that a person commits intoxication assault if they operate a car, watercraft, aircraft, or amusement ride while intoxicated in a public place and accidentally or mistakenly seriously injure another person.

What does “intoxicated” mean?

Let’s look at the legal definition of “intoxicated” (shown in italics below):

“Intoxicated” means:

(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.”

 49.01(2)(A)-(B) tells us the typical legal definition: that someone is intoxicated when their blood alcohol concentration is .08 or higher.

However, the statute also tells us it can also mean that you simply do not have the normal use of your mental or physical faculties because of alcohol, an illegal drug, a legal drug, or a combination of those substances.

What is “serious bodily injury?”

 49.07(b) tells us what “serious bodily injury” is (shown in italics below):

“(b) In this section, “serious bodily injury” means injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”

The statute explains that a “serious bodily injury” occurs if you injure someone in a way that puts their life at risk, causes a severe, permanent disfigurement, or long-term loss of use of a part of the injured person’s body,

What is the punishment for intoxication assault?

49.07(c) explains that a first offense for intoxication assault is a third-degree felony.

Under Texas law, this means a potential fine up to $10,000, 2-10 years of jail time, and 160-600 community service hours.

Even if probation is granted, the judge is still required by law to order at least 30 days of jail time.

See also…Intoxication Manslaughter; Felony DWI