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Penalties for Intoxication Assault in Texas

As a licensed driver in Texas, you’re probably familiar with the crime of driving while intoxicated (DWI) under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code. Under Sec. 49.04(a) it reads, “A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.”

But what if you accidentally hurt someone while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both? What if you hit a person while they’re in a crosswalk? Or, what if you injure your own passenger? Or, what if you injure a bicyclist or another driver?

If you injure another person as a direct result of driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, you commit an offense under Section 49.07 of the Texas Penal Code, Intoxication Assault. You commit the offense of intoxication assault if while intoxicated (while under the influence of drugs or alcohol), you cause serious bodily injury to another person.

“Serious bodily injury” under Sec. 49.07 includes:

  • Causing permanent disfigurement.
  • Causing an injury that creates a serious risk of death.
  • Causing protracted impairment or loss of function of a bodily member or organ.

There are many ways that a person’s injury can be considered serious under Sec. 49.07, even if the injured person eventually made a full recovery. For example, if a victim broke his legs in a crash, that would count as a serious bodily injury. Or, if a woman had a traumatic brain injury and had to be in the hospital for two weeks, but she healed within a year or two – that too would count.

Another example is someone who lost a finger. Or, suppose you caused a head-on collision on the freeway and the other driver was lucky to escape with his life. He may have survived, but since the accident created a substantial risk of death, you would likely be charged with intoxication assault.

Related: Effects of a Texas DWI

Intoxication assault is a felony of the third degree, punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and by a fine not to exceed $10,000 under Sec. 12.34 of the Texas Penal Code.

Need a Dallas DWI attorney to defend you? Call (214) 307-8667 today!