Court Rules Texas DWI Laws Don’t Discriminate Against Alcoholics

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A San Antonio man attempted to overturn a four-year prison sentence by arguing that Texas DWI laws discriminate against alcoholics. According to the man, who was arrested in 2012 after a rollover accident near New Braunfels, state laws ignore that individuals who “suffer from the disease of alcoholism” have a tolerance to the effects of alcohol. The man argued that alcoholics are a protected class under the Americans with Disabilities Act who can be prosecuted for a DWI even if they did not lose control of their mental and physical faculties.

However, the court did not accept the argument. In her opinion, the judge argued the man was unable to show evidence that alcoholics are a protected class or that state law treats them differently. Instead, the judge noted the man had argued alcoholics should be treated differently under the law. The Austin 3rd Court of Appeals said that Texas DWI laws apply equally to all drivers.

At the time of his arrest, the man had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .29. This is almost four times the legal limit. Records show the man had prior DWI convictions in 1985, 1990 and 1998. In Texas, you can be arrested and charged with a DWI if you have a BAC of .08. Three DWI convictions can result in a felony DWI charge. We recently published a blog discussing felony DWIs in more detail.

If you are under the age of 21, then you can be charged with a DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor) regardless of your BAC.

Questions About a DWI in Texas? Contact Our Lewisville Criminal Defense Attorneys

A DWI or DUI conviction can result in significant consequences. This is especially true for repeat offenses. However, as this story shows, you are allowed to have your day in court. If you are charged with a DWI or DUI in Texas, then you should contact an attorney to discuss your legal options. The Texas DWI attorneys at Julian, Crowder & Shuster, P.C. have extensive experience practicing criminal defense law. Attorneys Jared Julian and Michael Crowder are former peace officers.



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