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Penalties for Intoxication Manslaughter


According to the Texas Department of Transportation, “About every 20 minutes in Texas, someone is hurt or killed in a crash involving alcohol.” That being said, we’re going to discuss the Lone Star State’s DWI laws and what happens if you accidentally kill someone in a DWI crash.

Under Texas law, you are “legally intoxicated” if you drive a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. However, you can be arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) if you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even if your BAC is less than .08 percent. As long as the prosecution can demonstrate that your ability to drive safely was impaired by any drugs or alcohol, or a combination of the two, you can be charged with DWI.

Some of Texas’ alcohol-related offenses include:

  • DWI
  • DWI With a Child Passenger
  • Public Intoxication
  • Possession of an Alcoholic Beverage in a Motor Vehicle
  • Boating While Intoxicated
  • Intoxication Assault
  • Intoxication Manslaughter

What if a Driver Accidentally Kills Someone?

Suppose a drunk or drugged driver accidentally kills a pedestrian, another driver, a bicyclist, a motorcyclist, or even one of their own passengers. What are the consequences? Under Section 49.08 of the Texas Penal Code, Intoxication Manslaughter, taking another person’s life in a DWI accident (involving drugs or alcohol, or both) is a second degree felony.

Under Section 12.33 of the Texas Penal Code, a second degree felony is punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison, and by a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Since DWI is the one offense that’s commonly committed by non-criminals who have a lot to lose upon conviction, it is always best to fight one’s DWI charges. Even a simple, first-time DWI is punishable by fines, imprisonment, license suspension, and a criminal record. If you are facing intoxication manslaughter charges in Denton County, you have a lot at stake.

For skilled representation from a former prosecutor, contact Denton Criminal Defense Attorney, Derek A. Adame today for a free consultation!

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