The Differences Between DUI & DWI In Texas
A DWI generally carries heavier penalties than a DUI, making it a more serious charge. However, the penalties you potentially face for a DWI or a DUI will depend on the unique circumstances of your case including, your blood alcohol level (BAC), the presence of an injury/fatality, the status of your driver’s license, and the number of offenses.
What is important to keep in mind, though, is that both charges can have a devastating impact on your life and your future, and, thus, they should be taken very seriously.
Here is what you need to know about a DUI vs a DWI in Texas.
According to Section 106.041 of the Texas Penal Code, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drive under the influence of any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. Thus, a DUI arises when a minor operates a vehicle while intoxicated.
The legally allowed BAC limit in Texas is .08%. In this regard, a minor can be charged with a DWI (a more serious charge) if they drive while impaired or with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher.
According to Section 49.01 of the Texas Penal Code, it is illegal to operate a vehicle or any machinery in a public place while intoxicated. This means that your mental and physical faculties have been compromised due to alcohol, drugs, or both.
You can be charged with a DWI if your ability to operate a vehicle or machinery is impaired or if your BAC is .08% or higher.
Comparing DWI & DUI Penalties
As noted earlier, the penalties for a DWI are more severe than the penalties for a DUI. For example, a first-time offender for each of these charges potentially faces the following penalties.
A person under the age of 21 or a minor who has been charged with a DUI may be subject to:
- A fine not exceeding $500
- A 60-day license suspension
- Attending a mandatory alcohol awareness class
- Up to 40 hours of community service
Given that a minor still has their whole life ahead of them, the penalties of a DUI charge (while less) can come with devastating consequences.
Any adult 21 years or above who has been charged with a DWI may be subject to:
- A fine of up to $2,000
- Imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months
- Attending an alcohol addiction treatment program
- A one-year license suspension
A DWI conviction carries tougher penalties including heftier fines, a longer license suspension period, more community service hours, and other additional penalties not imposed in a DUI case.
If you have been charged with a DUI, we may be able to represent you in court, reduce your sentence, and even help you maintain your job. Contact us or call us today and offer yourself a chance to get your career and life back on track! Visit our blog for more related articles. Click here for the second article in this series.