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Are you confused about the difference between DWI and DUI in Texas? You’re not alone. Many people are unsure about the distinctions between these two terms, which can lead to misunderstandings about their rights and potential legal consequences. As a leading criminal defense firm with offices in San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos, and Austin, DWI Guys Texas is here to provide clarity on this important topic.

In this blog post, we will explain the key differences between DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in Texas and how our experienced attorneys can help protect your rights if you face charges. If you need immediate assistance, don’t hesitate to call us at (210) 570-2590 or visit our website at www.dwiguystexas.com.

DUI in Texas: A Charge for Minors

In Texas, DUI is a separate charge that specifically applies to minors under the age of 21. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving, meaning that any detectable amount of alcohol in a minor’s system can result in a DUI charge. This means that even a BAC of 0.01% can lead to legal consequences for someone under 21.

Penalties for a DUI conviction may include fines, license suspension, community service, and mandatory alcohol education programs. Although the penalties for DUI are generally less severe than those for DWI, a DUI conviction can still have a significant impact on a young person’s life and future opportunities.

DWI vs DUI in Texas

Understanding DWI in Texas

A DWI charge in Texas refers to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. In the Lone Star State, a driver is considered legally intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. However, a person can also be charged with DWI if they’re deemed to have lost the normal use of their mental or physical faculties due to substance use, even if their BAC is below the legal limit.

As of April 2023, the penalties for DWI in Texas are as follows:

  • First Offense DWI
    • Fine: UP to $2,000
    • Jail Time: 3 days to 180 days
    • License Suspension: 90 days to 1 year
    • Additional Penalties: Possible community service, DWI education classes, installation of an ignition interlock device, and probation.
  • Second Offense DWI
    • Fine: Up to $4,000.
    • Jail Time: 1 month to 1 year.
    • License Suspension: 180 days to 2 years.
    • Additional Penalties: Higher likelihood of mandatory ignition interlock device, longer periods of community service, DWI intervention programs, and stricter probation terms.
  • Third Offense DWI
    • Fine: Up to $10,000.
    • Jail Time: 2 years to 10 years (considered a felony).
    • License Suspension: 180 days to 2 years.
    • Additional Penalties: Mandatory ignition interlock device, extensive community service, possible alcohol rehabilitation, and long-term probation.
  • DWI with a Child Passenger
    • Considered a state jail felony
    • Fine: Up to $10,000.
    • Jail Time: 180 days to 2 years in a state jail.
    • Additional Penalties: Same as above, with potentially more severe consequences.
  • Enhanced Penalties
    • Certain circumstances can lead to enhanced penalties, such as having an extremely high blood alcohol concentration (BAC), causing an accident with serious injuries or death, or having multiple DWI convictions.

Keep in mind that additional penalties may apply if you refuse a breathalyzer or blood test, if your DWI involved an accident, or if a minor was present in the vehicle.

How DWI Guys Texas Can Help

If you or a loved one has been charged with DWI or DUI in Texas, it’s crucial to seek legal representation as soon as possible. At DWI Guys Texas, our skilled criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to providing top-notch representation for clients facing DWI and DUI charges. With our extensive knowledge of Texas DWI and DUI laws, we will work tirelessly to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Don’t leave your future to chance. Contact DWI Guys Texas today for a free consultation by calling (210) 570-2590 or visiting our website at dwiguystexas.com. Let our experienced team help you navigate the complexities of DWI and DUI charges in Texas.