Dallas DWI Lawyer – Articles

Intent and Drunk Driving

For the majority of crimes that our legal system has identified, an individual must have a specific type of intent in order to be held liable for whatever affront to society has been committed. Drunk driving is not one of those crimes. This means that regardless of a person ‘s intent in getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking too much, he or she can be held liable.

Because drunk driving does not involve a level of intent, it is known as a strict liability crime. This means that a person who meets the other requirements of the crime, like having a blood alcohol content above .08 and driving a car, will be held liable for drunk driving.

Strict liability crimes are rare since the legislatures of the United States have preferred to assign a mental state, in an effort to avoid punishing people who did something accidentally as opposed to criminally. The crimes, for the most part, require a specific mental state and an act. Strict liability crimes, on the other hand, only have the act portion of the crime, not a mental state.

Due to the lack of a mental state required, strict liability is typically reserved for crimes that require fines and not extensive jail time. While drunk driving can require jail time, it is still a strict liability crime as it does not require extensive jail time. For example, an individual is unlikely to receive 25 to life for driving a car while drunk.

Contact a Dallas DWI Lawyer

If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated, contact the Dallas DWI lawyers of the Law Office of Mark T. Lassiter at (214) 845-7007 to discuss your situation and to develop a plan for defense.


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