“Not Having the Normal Use of Mental or Physical Faculties” in DWI Trials

Criminal Defense Lawyer | DWI, Drug, Theft & Assault Charges

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

Chapter 49 of the Penal Code defines intoxication for the purposes of a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) case three different ways.  A person is intoxicated if “they do not have the normal use of their mental faculties; do not have the normal use of their mental faculties; or have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater…”

Not Having the Normal Use

Herein lies a classic struggle between prosecutor and defense attorney.  The term “normal use” is usually defined by the judge only to be a “normal non intoxicated person.”  That’s all the clarification a jury gets.  It’s as clear as mud.

What the prosecution will often attempt to do — as early as jury selection — is manipulate the definition of “normal” to make it as slight a burden as possible.  The less drunk they have to prove…

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