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3 types of alcohol-related crimes in Texas

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | DWI

It is not unusual to enjoy a drink or two with friends after a long day, unwinding and socializing. However, it’s important to remember that a seemingly good time can quickly turn into alcohol-related charges if things get out of hand.

Alcohol-related crimes vary in their legal implications, ranging from minor infractions to serious offenses that can have long-term consequences. They may include the following.

Driving while intoxicated (DWI)

A DWI offense occurs when an individual operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit of 0.08%. This is considered a serious offense in Texas and can result in hefty fines, driver’s license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs and even jail time, especially for repeat offenders or those involved in accidents causing injury or death.

Public intoxication

Another common alcohol-related crime in Texas is public intoxication, which involves being visibly intoxicated in a public place to the extent that one poses a danger to themselves or others. While public intoxication is typically considered a misdemeanor, it can still result in fines, community service and the creation of a criminal record. Law enforcement officers have the authority to detain individuals who are deemed intoxicated in public for their safety and the safety of others.

Providing alcohol to minors

Like with the rest of the United States, Texas law strictly prohibits providing alcohol to individuals under the legal drinking age of 21. This offense can encompass various actions, including purchasing alcohol for minors, furnishing alcohol to minors at social gatherings or parties or even knowingly allowing minors to consume alcohol on one’s property.

Open container infractions

It is illegal to possess an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle in Texas. This offense applies to both the driver and passengers of the vehicle and is considered a violation of the state’s open container law. An open container is defined as any alcoholic beverage that has been opened, has a broken seal or has had some of its contents removed while in a vehicle on a public roadway.

If you’re facing an alcohol-related offense, consider seeking legal guidance to help understand your rights and explore potential defenses.