What is the Difference Between DWI & DUI in Texas?
Many people in Texas confuse Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). In Texas, the two terms are different. DWI = driving while intoxication. DUI = A minor having any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.
DWI in Texas
Texas Penal Code 49.04 says a person commits a DWI offense if they are proven to be “intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.” Intoxication is usually the most contested issue at trial.
There are three ways to prove intoxication in Texas:
- loss of normal use of mental faculties
- loss of normal use of physical faculties
- .08 or greater blood alcohol concentration
DWI is much more serious than DUI. DWI carries the following penalties in Texas:
- Jail time and even imprisonment if it’s a 3rd offense or more
- Stiff fines
- Possible drive’s license suspensions
- DPS surcharges.
A DWI can be as low as a class B misdemeanor all the way up to a third-degree felony.
DUI in Texas
A DUI is defined as a minor having any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. Under Texas law, Section 106.041 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code makes it illegal for a minor to operate a vehicle in public while having any alcohol in their system.
A DUI in Texas is a class C misdemeanor. The maximum fine is $500, up to 40 hours community service and a 60-day driver’s license suspension. There is no possibility of jail time for a DUI. However, a DUI is still serious and a conviction for a DUI or any alcohol-related offense can affect job opportunities, college scholarships and/or getting into college.
HOW WE CAN HELP
If you have been arrested for DWI or DUI you need a skilled attorney who knows how to aggressively fight alcohol-related charges. Smith & Vinson Law Firm has had success in getting DUI and DWI cases dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. We fight hard to avoid you having a DWI or DUI conviction on your record forever.
For more information, please call or e-mail us to set up a free consultation. Our number is (512) 359-3743 and e-mail us here.