Elements of a DWI
CALL (972) 599-4100 or Contact Us Online if you are charged with a DWI.
In a DWI, the State must prove:
- Defendant was intoxicated
- while operating
- a motor vehicle
- in a public place.
What these terms mean:
1. The Defendant was intoxicated: The Stae can prove this three ways:
a) through chemical (breath, blood, urine) testing that shows a 0.08 blood-alcohol concentration test result, or
b) by proving a defendant did not have his normal use of his mental faculties due to alcohol, or
c) by proving a defendant did not have his normal use of his physical faculties due to alcohol.
2. While operating: The State must "wheel" a defendant. They must prove the person was behind the wheel of a motor vehicle at the time they were intoxicated. Usually, this means that the keys are in the ignition, and the car is able to be operated while the defendant is in the vehicle.
3. A motor vehicle: any vehicle with a motor.
4. In a public place: Texas Penal Code 49.04(a) defines a public place as:
"any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access to and includes, but is not limited to, streets, highways and the common areas of schools, hospitals and apartment houses, office buildings, transport facilities and ships."