DWI-Related Definitions

When you are arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) crime in Denton County, you are bound to hear a number of terms or phrases you are not completely familiar with. Consider this page to be a guide on some of the most commonly used definitions for DWI cases, and always seek the help of a Denton DWI defense attorney when you are facing any kind of DWI charges.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) reports that DWI arrests in Denton County in 2021 included 15 charges from the Argyle Police Department, 21 charges from the Aubrey Police Department, three charges from the Bartonville Police Department, 23 charge from the Oak Point Police Department, 121 charges from the Corinth Police Department, four charges from County Criminal Court #4, two charges from County Criminal Court Number 5, one charge from County Criminal Court 1, 126 charges from the Denton County Sheriff’s Office, seven charges from Denton County Court 3, six charges from the Denton County Water District Police Department, 908 charges from the Denton Police Department, three charges from the Denton District Attorney’s Office, four charges from the Double Oak Police Department, 162 charges from the Flower Mound Police Department, 23 charges from the Hickory Creek Police Department, 58 charges from the Highland Village Police Department, nine charges from the Justin Police Department, 57 charges from the Krugerville Police Department, 21 charges from the Krum Police Department, 31 charges from the Lake Dallas Police Department, 837 charges from the Lewisville Police Department, 160 charges from the Little Elm Police Department, 29 charges from the Northlake Police Department, 11 charges from the Pilot Point Police Department, two charges from the Ponder Police Department, 60 charges from the Roanoke Police Department, 63 charges from the Sanger Police Department, 283 charges from The Colony Police Department, 14 charges from The Town of Cross Roads Police Department, 48 charges from the Trophy Club Police Department, and 83 charges from the University of North Texas Police Department. Statewide, there were 11,836 guilty pleas to DWI charges and only 564 not guilty pleas, with 8,044 convictions of original offenses, 3,834 convictions for crimes other than original offenses, and 1,917 dismissals.

DWI Defense Lawyer in Denton, Frisco, Lewisville, Flower Mound, TX

If you were arrested for a DWI contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your alleged offense in Denton, Frisco, Lewisville, Flower Mound, and surrounding areas of Denton County, Texas. You are not going to be able to negotiate a more favorable outcome for your criminal case on your own.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy understands DWI cases and knows how to fight criminal charges so you will have a far better chance of getting your own charges reduced or dismissed. You can call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online for a consultation that will let us dive deeper into your case and explain what defense options may be available to you.

Non-Statutory Definitions for DWI Charges in Denton County

While several DWI terms and phrases are specifically defined in the Texas Penal Code, many of the most common terms are not. Here are some examples of those terms:

  • Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program — A civil administrative process requiring DPS to suspend and/or disqualify a driver’s license if a person is arrested for DWI or Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) when they refuse to take or fail to complete a blood or breath test, provide a blood or breath test that registers a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more while driving a non-commercial motor vehicle, or provide a blood or breath test that registers a BAC of 0.04 percent or more while driving a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Arraignment — An initial court proceeding at which a person arrested for DWI will be formally advised of the charges against them and given an opportunity to enter a plea.
  • Field Sobriety Test (FST) — Tests used by law enforcement officers to determine impairment. The most common FSTs will test a person’s balance, coordination, and the ability of a driver to divide their attention among several tasks at once, but unlike the state implied consent law requiring all drivers to submit to chemical testing, people have no obligation to agree to these tests.
  • Nystagmus — A condition in which the eyes move rapidly and uncontrollably, either moving side to side (horizontal nystagmus), up and down (vertical nystagmus), or in a circle (rotary nystagmus).
  • Retrograde Extrapolation — Using a person’s BAC obtained at a later time to estimate what their BAC was at an earlier time, based on the average rate at which alcohol is eliminated from the body.
  • Voir Dire — Jury selection for trials in DWI cases. Lawyers and/or judges can question potential jurors about their background and qualifications to sit as jurors in a DWI case. The parties are able to learn more about potential jurors and determine whether a DWI case is proper for them to hear.
  • Wet Reckless — A plea to a charge of reckless driving that is alcohol-related. Wet reckless pleas are usually the result of plea bargaining to reduce DWI charges. Such pleas usually involve lower fines, no jail time, and no record of a DWI conviction, but a wet reckless could be considered a prior drunk-driving conviction for any subsequent DWI arrest.

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Texas Penal Code Definitions Relating to DWI Charges in Denton County

The Texas Penal Code establishes a number of important definitions relating to DWI, including all of the following:

  • Alcohol Concentration, Texas Penal Code § 49.01(1) — The number of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, 100 milliliters of blood, or 67 milliliters of urine.
  • Amusement Ride, Texas Penal Code § 49.01(5) — As defined under Texas Occupations Code § 2151.002(1), a mechanical device that carries passengers along, around, or over a fixed or restricted course or within a defined area to give the passengers amusement, pleasure, or excitement. The term does not include a coin-operated ride that is manually, mechanically, or electrically operated; is customarily placed in a public location; and does not normally require the supervision or services of an operator; nonmechanized playground equipment, including a swing, seesaw, stationary spring-mounted animal feature, rider-propelled merry-go-round, climber, playground slide, trampoline, and physical fitness device; or a challenge course or any part of a challenge course if the person who operates the challenge course has an insurance policy currently in effect written by an insurance company authorized to do business in this state or by a surplus lines insurer, as defined by Chapter 981, Insurance Code, or has an independently procured policy subject to Chapter 101, Insurance Code, insuring the operator against liability for injury to persons arising out of the use of the challenge course, in an amount not less than for facilities with a fixed location $100,000 bodily injury and $50,000 property damage per occurrence, with a $300,000 annual aggregate; or a $150,000 per occurrence combined single limit, with a $300,000 annual aggregate; and for facilities other than those with a fixed location $1,000,000 bodily injury and $500,000 property damage per occurrence; or $1,500,000 per occurrence combined single limit.
  • Intoxicated, Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2) — Either not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties because of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body, or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
  • Mobile Amusement Ride, Texas Penal Code § 49.01(6) — As defined under Texas Occupations Code § 2151.002(6), an amusement ride designed or adapted to be moved from one location to another and is not fixed at a single location.
  • Motor Vehicle, Texas Penal Code § 49.01(3) — As defined under Texas Penal Code § 32.34(2), 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.
  • Open Container, Texas Penal Code § 49.031(1) — A bottle, can, or another receptacle that contains any amount of alcoholic beverage that is open, that has been opened, that has a broken seal or the contents of which are partially removed.
  • Passenger Area of a Motor Vehicle, Texas Penal Code § 49.031(2) — The area of a motor vehicle designed for the seating of the operator and passengers of the vehicle. The term does not include a glove compartment or similar storage container that is locked; the trunk of a vehicle; or the area behind the last upright seat of the vehicle if the vehicle does not have a trunk.
  • Public Highway, Texas Penal Code § 49.031(3) — The entire width between and immediately adjacent to the boundary lines of any public road, street, highway, interstate, or other publicly maintained way if any part is open for public use for the purpose of motor vehicle travel. The term includes the right-of-way of a public highway.
  • Watercraft, Texas Penal Code § 49.01(4) — A vessel, one or more water skis, an aquaplane, or another device used for transporting or carrying a person on water, other than a device propelled only by the current of water.

Denton, TX DWI Resources 

The Denton Police Department Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Strategic Plan — The Denton Police Department seeks to lower the amount of DWI related crashes occurring in the city every year and tries to achieve this goal through prevention, enforcement, and prosecution. The prevention angle includes a dedicated public information campaign, a complete SARA (Scanning, Analysis, Response, Assessment) project on DWI crashes, creating partnerships with owners and managers to encourage alternatives for prospective impaired motorists, and for the promotion of female safety, strengthening and maintaining partnerships with other government and non-governmental organizations, encouraging witnesses to report drunk driving, following up with arrested impaired drivers, and numerous other police prevention initiatives. The Denton Police Department also promotes victim services by working with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to ensure victims and survivors receive available services that include support and peer groups, free resources and referrals, communication with the Denton County district attorney’s victim assistance office and provide support, resources specific to drunk/drugged driving and receive referrals from them; we have a Spanish speaking advocate who can assist and translate as needed, free materials on trauma, grief, death, injury, child endangerment; photo display of loved ones injured or killed by a drunk driver, private chat room for victims/survivors of drunk driving, and Texas social media blogs, stories, tips and more.

Specialized Treatment Court Programs | Denton County, TX — This list of programs includes the DWI treatment court program. The DWI Court is designed for select recidivist DWI offenders who, without serious treatment intervention and accountability, are at a higher risk of reoffending. Participants will be placed under supervised probation and are required to undergo intensive treatment and counseling, submit to random alcohol and/or drug testing, making frequent appearances in court, and being closely monitored for program compliance.

Find A Denton County Defense Attorney for DWI Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Are you currently facing DWI charges in Denton County? Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your alleged offense in Denton, Frisco, Lewisville, Flower Mound, and surrounding areas of Denton County, Texas.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has handled scores of DWI cases throughout Texas for decades, so we know how to fight to win these types of cases. Call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation that will allow us to review your entire case and discuss every legal option that may be available to you.