Welcome to Legal Help
Home Texas DUI Laws Elements of DUI Offense in Texas

Free Help – Ask Your DUI Questions

legal dui questions

Choose a State

Elements of DUI Offense in Texas

Driving under influence is separated into three separate sections, the first section is driving under the influence, the second is intoxicated assault, and the final is intoxicated manslaughter.

The first section requires three elements to prove guilt for driving under the influence, (1) the motorist was stopped lawfully by the officer, (2) the motorist was actually driving the vehicle, and (3) the motorist was under the influence of an alcoholic substance, drug, or combination of the two.

Under Texas law, a motorist is defined as intoxicated if he or she has a blood alcohol content of 0.08. Blood alcohol content is calculated as grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, grams of alcohol per 67 milliliters of urine or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

In a prosecution, a BAC level of .08 or higher is sufficient to establish intoxication even without physical evidence of impairment in the motorist. This presumption of intoxication can be rebutted only by evidence showing the BAC was lower than .08, evidence that the motorist did not appear or act intoxicated is insufficient.

Under Texas law, there is no minimum level needed to convict a motorist of driving under the influence of drugs. Additionally, no legal distinction is made between illegal drugs, prescription drugs and controlled substances. A motorist may be defined as intoxicated by the use of any drug which has the potential to affect their nervous or muscular system in such a way that it impairs their ability to operate a motor vehicle like a reasonably cautious individual in full control of their mental and bodily faculties. Because there is no minimum level of intoxication for driving while under the influence of drugs, the prosecution must offer evidence of the motorists actual impairment not merely the presence of drugs in the motorist’s system.

The second section, intoxicated assault, requires five elements to prove guilt for driving under the influence, (1) the motorist was stopped lawfully by the officer, (2) the motorist was actually driving the vehicle, and (3) the motorist was under the influence of an alcoholic substance, drug, or combination of the two, (4) the motorist performs an act forbidden by law or neglects to recognize a duty imposed upon the motorist by law, and (5) the aforementioned act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.

Intoxicated assault still requires the motorist have a 0.08 blood alcohol content or higher or that the motorist was impaired by drugs when he or she was driving the vehicle. However, intoxicated assault requires proving the additional element that the motorist performs an act forbidden by law or neglects to recognize a duty imposed upon the motorist by law, and the aforementioned act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.

The third section, intoxicated manslaughter, requires five elements to prove guilt for driving under the influence, (1) the motorist was stopped lawfully by the officer, (2) the motorist was actually driving the vehicle, and (3) the motorist was under the influence of an alcoholic substance, drug, or combination of the two, (4) the motorist performs an act forbidden by law or neglects to recognize a duty imposed upon the motorist by law, and (5) the aforementioned act or neglect proximately causes the death of any person other than the driver.

Intoxicated assault still requires the motorist have a 0.08 blood alcohol content or higher or that the motorist was impaired by drugs when he or she was driving the vehicle. However, intoxicated assault requires proving the additional element that the motorist performs an act forbidden by law or neglects to recognize a duty imposed upon the motorist by law, and the aforementioned act or neglect proximately causes the death of any person other than the driver.

Under Texas law mere intoxication is not enough for conviction of the latter two sections. The prosecutor must show an act or failure to act in prohibited by law. Additionally this act must have occurred while the motorist was driving the vehicle, acts or omissions before or after the fact are insufficient. Additionally, the act or failure to act must be the proximate cause of the injury or death. Proving merely correlation between the event and the harm is not enough. The prosecutor must show the accident caused the injury or death of the victim.


If you have any questions about speeding tickets, please ask them at our legal help forum. free legal questions

Ask Questions, Get Answers

free legal help forum

Contact a DUI Lawyer Today!