Texas Vehicle Alcohol-Related Offenses

While “Don’t Mess with Texas” is the state’s anti-litter campaign, the strong message can carry over to the stiff penalties incurred if you are stopped for a drunk driving offense in the state. In fact, even having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle can mean trouble and is considered a Class C misdemeanor.

If you have been charged with an alcohol-related offense in Austin, Texas, selecting the best legal representation is important. Minton, Burton, Bassett, & Collins know the laws and have a reputation as one of the preeminent law firms in Texas. Call us today at (512) 476-4873 or contact us online for help with your DWI or DUI case in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, Caldwell, Burnet and Comal counties.

"Alcohol and cars don’t mix, period," according to the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the laws in Texas reflect that sentiment. The Texas legislature has continued to adjust the laws and safety requirements related to any vehicular operation where alcohol is concerned. Mandatory driver license suspension, fines, and jail sentences are all potential penalties when caught illegally with alcohol.

The attorneys of Minton, Burton, Bassett, & Collins have deep roots in Texas and we know the Texas laws. With over 45 years of legal experience, we have helped thousands of Texans recover and move on after an alcohol-related arrest. If you have been arrested in Texas for a DWI or DUI, you need a lawyer on your side that can protect your rights inside Texas courtrooms and during plea negotiations.

Non-Driving Vehicular Offenses

The following laws and legislation govern alcohol in a vehicle that is not directly related to a DWI offense.

  • The state's Open Container Law makes it illegal to possess an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. It is a Class C misdemeanor to possess an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of a motor vehicle which is on a public highway or the right-of-way adjacent to a public highway, either parked or moving.
  • Legislation makes it an offense for the accompanying licensed passenger of a driver with a learner’s permit to sleep, be intoxicated or to engage in any activity that prevents the passenger from observing and responding to the actions of the driver of the vehicle.
  • One law creates a six-month driver license (DL) suspension for a person convicted of providing alcohol to a minor (one year for second offense), and increases the DL suspension to one year for minors who are convicted of a second alcohol offense.

Impact of DUI on Employment/Rights

If you have been convicted of a DWI offense, the below laws identify the loss of some of your rights.

  • One law prohibits persons who have committed offenses such as vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident from operating a school bus for 10 years after the offense.
  • Another law requires an ignition interlock device if a driver’s blood alcohol level is determined to be .15 or more (upon conviction).
  • Convictions of the following alcohol-related offenses will result in the automatic suspension of your driving privilege:
    • Driving while intoxicated (DWI) by use of alcohol or drugs;
    • Intoxication manslaughter;
    • Intoxication assault;
    • Boating while intoxicated.

Contact Us Today

When it comes to DWI and other alcohol-related cases, time is of the essence. You should talk with an attorney as soon as possible after you have been charged to ensure that you have the best defense. Protect your rights and your record by contacting us today to schedule a confidential consultation. We can be reached in Austin, TX, by phone at (512) 476-4873 or by filling out this online form.

Law Awards

Awards given to our attorneys for excellence.

Michael Burnett -

  • Recognized in 2008 and 2005 as a "Rising Super Lawyer" by Texas Monthly.
  • A.V. Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Jeffrey David Miller -

  • Recognized in 2008 as a "Rising Star Super Lawyer" by Texas Monthly Magazine.
  • Elected in 2008 as a Fellow of the Texas Bar Association.