CCA: Courts not required to give the full definition of “intoxication” if the evidence only supports intoxication by one substance

Barnett v. State, No. 0576-16 (Tex. Crim. App. Sept. 20, 2017).

Facts: charged with DWI – D rear-ended another car; evidence shows slurred speech, odor of alcohol, 6/6 HGN, 4/8 WAT, 2/4 OLS; 20 white pills, 1 blue pill in D jacket, pill bottle in car; D never ID’d pills; no expert testimony re: drugs; trial judge instructed jurors with full “loss of faculties” definition

State: What about .02 when D acting intoxicated??? (Citing Cochran dissent in Gray v. State.) Court: when there’s evidence of another substance, you can go that route. Here, you didn’t have any. State: aw, man!

Law: (2)  “Intoxicated” means:

(A)  not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason 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

(B)  having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.


Holding: give definition of  intoxication targeted to the facts of the case; no evidence D intoxicated by pills here; D didn’t ID pills to police, no record evidence as to what type of pills police found, whether they cause intoxicating effects, or whether the symptoms of intoxication D experienced were also indicative of Hydrocodone intoxication

Author: txcriminalappeals

Appellate lawyer in Rockwall and Dallas Counties focusing on criminal cases and now accepting civil appeals.

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