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Criminal charges

intoxication assault

A person commits the criminal offense of intoxication assault if the person operates a motor vehicle while intoxicated and causes an accident that results in the serious bodily injury of another person.

Some states have a broader definition of intoxication assault and may charge an intoxicated person who negligently causes serious bodily injury to another person while operating a motor vehicle, an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride with the crime of intoxication assault.

Intoxication assault is a felony offense and may be punished by significant jail or prison time. Intoxication assault laws are generally located in a state's statutes—often in the penal or criminal code.

In Texas, intoxication assault is defined under Texas Penal Code Section 49.07. A person commits this offense if they operate a motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or an amusement ride while intoxicated, and by reason of that intoxication, cause serious bodily injury to another person. 'Serious bodily injury' is defined as an 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. Intoxication assault is a third-degree felony in Texas, which can result in 2 to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. However, if the victim is a peace officer, a firefighter, or emergency medical services personnel, the offense is elevated to a second-degree felony, which carries a punishment of 2 to 20 years in prison. Additionally, if the injury caused is a traumatic brain injury that results in a persistent vegetative state, the offense becomes a first-degree felony, with a potential punishment of 5 to 99 years or life in prison.

Texas Statutes & Rules

Federal Statutes & Rules

18 U.S.C. § 13 - Laws of States Adopted for Areas Within Federal Jurisdiction
This statute is relevant because it allows federal law enforcement to apply state laws to offenses committed on federal property, which could include intoxication assault.

This statute, known as the Assimilative Crimes Act, provides that acts committed on federal lands or properties that are not specifically addressed by federal law can be prosecuted under the state laws where the land is located. If a person commits intoxication assault on federal property, such as a national park or military base, and there is no specific federal law covering the offense, the state's intoxication assault law can be applied.

18 U.S.C. § 1112 - Involuntary Manslaughter
While not directly addressing intoxication assault, this statute could be applied in cases where an intoxicated individual causes a fatal accident on federal property.

Involuntary manslaughter, under federal law, is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice. It is committed in the commission of an unlawful act not amounting to a felony, or in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner. If an intoxicated person causes an accident that results in death rather than serious bodily injury, they could be charged under this statute.

18 U.S.C. § 1113 - Attempt to Commit Murder or Manslaughter
This statute could be relevant if an intoxicated person's actions could be construed as an attempt to commit manslaughter, including situations where serious bodily injury occurs.

This statute criminalizes the attempt to commit murder or manslaughter. If an intoxicated person causes serious bodily injury with a motor vehicle, and the circumstances are such that it could be seen as an attempt to commit manslaughter, they could potentially be charged under this statute.

23 U.S.C. § 402 - Highway Safety Programs
This statute is relevant as it outlines the federal role in improving traffic safety, which can include measures to prevent intoxication assault.

This statute provides for the development and implementation of highway safety programs by the Secretary of Transportation. While it does not directly address criminal behavior, it does mandate that states create and enforce highway safety programs that comply with federal standards. These programs often include provisions related to DUI/DWI offenses and could indirectly impact how states deal with intoxication assault.

49 U.S.C. § 30301 - National Driver Register
This statute is relevant because it establishes a national database of individuals who have had their licenses revoked or suspended due to serious traffic-related offenses, including intoxication assault.

The National Driver Register (NDR) is a database of information about drivers who have had their licenses revoked or suspended, or who have been convicted of serious traffic-related offenses. If someone is convicted of intoxication assault, their information would likely be included in this register, which could impact their ability to drive in any state.