Cars, Trucks, And Boats? What Counts As A “Motor Vehicle” In Pearland Under Texas DWI/DUI Criminal Laws?
Most people in Texas, and throughout the United States and probably the world, know that drugs and alcohol and driving a motor vehicle just do not mix. The risks of driving while under the influence of alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, or other drugs is obviously a recipe for disaster, since motor vehicles are heavy machines that travel at high speeds with other motor vehicles, pedestrians, and other obstacles on the road, shoulders, and sidewalks, causing a recipe for collision if a driver is not careful and fails to follow the rules of the road. There is no doubt that drinking and driving can result in horrific accidents leading to severe injury and sometimes death. Less well-known may be the fact that under Texas criminal laws, a person in Pearland may be charged for Driving While Impaired (DWI) (otherwise referred to as Driving Under the Influence (DUI)), while operating nearly any motorized vehicle, and not just a car or a truck. With a wide variety of motor vehicles out there for every purpose imaginable, in addition to practicing safe driving, it is important for Texans in Pearland to know the laws when it comes to DWI/DUIs.
The Definition of “Motor Vehicle” under the Texas Penal Code
Title 10 Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code, Intoxication and Alcoholic Beverage Offenses, establishes the criminal laws in Texas for DWI/DUI offenses. Under the Texas Penal Code, the definition of a “motor vehicle” is “…a device in, on, or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a highway, except a device used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks.” Therefore, under Texas criminal laws, in Pearland, the definition of “motor vehicle” is very broad, and could include a number of different vehicles, including cars, trucks, semi-trucks (18-wheeler trucks), motorcycles, and even potentially other vehicles such as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and other smaller motorized vehicles. In sum, if a machine can drive and transport people or objects on the road, it may be deemed to be a “motor vehicle” for the purposes of Texas DWI/DUI laws.
Operation of other Machines while Intoxicated under the Texas Penal Code
In addition to prohibiting the operation of “motor vehicles” while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Texas criminal laws also prohibit the use of other machines while intoxicated. Under the Code, it is also a criminal act to operate an amusement ride, boat, or aircraft while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
Help with Your Pearland DWI/DUI Case
There is no doubt that operating any heavy machine, including those used for transportation, while intoxicated is just a plain bad idea. However, DWI/DUI charges do happen, and when a person is charged with a DWI/DUI in Pearland, they should immediately reach out to a skilled and experienced Pearland DWI/DUI lawyer. Keith French is experienced in defending Pearland residents against DWI/DUI charges. If you have been charged with a DWI/DUI, contact Keith B. French Law today and speak with a skilled and experienced lawyer about your rights and options.