I Wonder: Texas DWI law

I Wonder: Texas DWI law

I Wonder: Texas DWI law

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by REBEKAH HOOD / KVUE.com

kvue.com

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 14 at 3:53 PM

I wonder: Can you get a DWI on a golf cart?

After an overwhelming response to KVUE News reporter Shelton Green’s story about two men arrested for riding their horses drunk, one viewer sent a tweet to KVUE wondering if it was possible to also be arrested if driving a golf cart while intoxicated.

So I turned to the Austin Police Department for an answer. The answer? Maybe.

Let me explain.

Chapter 49, Section 32.34 of the Texas penal code that deals with intoxication and alcoholic beverage offenses  states that a “’Motor vehicle’" means 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.”

APD Commander Jason Dusterhoft says the word “device” is ambiguous, and after seeking legal counsel, APD has decided to leave that judgment (on what a “device” is) up to individual officers. Dusterhoft says there are enough checks and balances within their organization to make sure an offender’s charge is fair. There is also the option to appeal the charge and have a judge downgrade it.

Such was the case with the men in Shelton’s story. Their charges were downgraded from DWI to public intoxication.

You can view the entire version of the penal code here.

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