Common Alcohol-Related Crimes in Texas

Alcohol is a trillion-dollar global industry. The consumption of beers, wines, and spirits is legal in most parts of the world where they feature prominently in social gatherings. An estimated 89 percent of Americans have consumed a form of alcohol at least once in their lifetime. While it can cause euphoria and sociability in low doses, it can also induce intoxication, unconsciousness, and undesirable behavioral changes in higher doses.

Drinking may even lead to the commission of crimes. It is for this reason that laws have been passed to regulate the manufacture, sale, labelling, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Texas is not considered a control state, but it does limit sale hours both on and off premises. The following are among the most common alcohol-related crimes in Texas:

Drunk Driving

According to the CDC, there have been more than 13,000 deaths from drunk driving accidents in Texas between 2003 and 2012. The annual fatality rate in the state exceeds the national average by a significant amount. The bulk of these victims are young adults within the twenty-one to thirty-four age range. The statistics have caused great concern, forcing the legislature to pass stricter laws in an effort to reduce these accidents. Officers are empowered to arrest drivers who have a blood alcohol concentration that is at or above 0.08 percent for adults. There is a zero tolerance policy when it comes to minors, whose inexperience behind the wheel puts them at greater risk.

The penalty for those who have violated the law gets progressively harsher as they get more convictions on their record. It is usually light for first-time offenders with a small fine, community service, instructional programs, and a brief license suspension. Depending on the gravity of the situation, jail time may be recommended. Ignition interlock devices may also be installed on their vehicle. This device contains a breath analyzer and prevents the car from starting if the BAC level exceeds a certain threshold. This has proven to be effective in lowering repeat offenses, and a DWI defense attorney in Fort Worth can help get a case dismissed.  

Homicide

Drugs are often blamed for gruesome deaths, but alcohol is actually involved in more fatalities than any other substance. In one study, it was found that about 40 percent of convicted murderers admit to the consumption of an alcoholic beverage before committing the crime. Ingestion of an excessive amount is known to impair judgment and change behavior patterns. Some people get more violent and become a danger to those around them. Homicide means that the killing was unplanned, perhaps a result of an emotional outburst or a bad decision.

Intimate Partner Violence

The consumption of alcohol makes people more likely to exhibit violent behavior, and those who are closest to them tend to suffer the most. Women are almost four times more likely to be assaulted if their partner abuses alcohol.

The domestic violence can take on a variety of forms, from physical to psychological. Many turn to intimidation or other forms of controlling behavior to get what they want. Abusive partners may beat up their significant other or even the children if they don’t get their way. Aside from the brutality, those in this kind of relationship are also likely to experience infidelity, child care issues, and financial difficulties.  

Sexual Assault

This is defined as a forced sexual act. It may be anything from non-consensual kissing to inappropriate touching to forced intercourse. More than one-third of sexual assault and rapes cases were found to have been committed by offenders who acted under the influence of alcohol.

The substance can magnify aggressive behavior such that resistance by the victims is ignored instead of being taken as a sign to stop. Any sexual act committed without consent, whether through express disagreement or lack of capacity to give consent, can be categorized as sexual assault.  

Robbery

Property-related crimes like robbery can also be linked to alcohol. Many of those who turn to this crime do so because of feelings of desperation. They may feel like there is no other way out of their personal predicament unless they steal from someone else. Drinking tends to heighten this desperation while reducing inhibition. About 15 percent of robberies are said to be related to alcohol use. Thieves often turn into repeat offenders, which increases the likelihood that they will end up in jail.