Public Intoxication Vs. DWI

Texas Criminal Lawyer

Texas Criminal Lawyer

What are the Differences Between a Public Intoxication Charge and a Driving While Intoxicated Charge?

While you may often hear them mentioned in similar contexts, a public intoxication charge is not the same as a driving while intoxicated charge. “Intoxicated” does not even have the same meaning in the charges. “Intoxicated” for a DWI means having lost normal use of physical and mental faculties and/or having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher while driving. In the context of a public intoxication charge, however, “intoxicated” means a person is a danger to himself/ herself, or a danger to others.

Furthermore, police officers typically videotape DWI suspects when they are pulled over and when they arrive in jail. DWI suspects also must submit to a blood alcohol concentration test upon their arrest. No such procedures exist for public intoxication charges. Finally, public intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor, which is the lowest class of offense. Punishment may include a fine of up to $500 but jail time is not possible.

If you have been charged with a DWI contact the Texas DWI defense lawyers at Grossman Law Offices.

Questions answered in this article:
  • What is the differences between DWI and public intoxication?
  • Can I get my DWI knocked down to a public intoxication charge?
  • Do you take a blood test for public intoxication?
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