DWI vs. DUI, What is the Difference? by Plano DWI Lawyer Troy P. Burleson

By Collin County DWI attorney Troy P. Burleson

A DUI (Driving under the influence) is a class C misdemeanor. The offense is found in Section 106.041 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code. Essentially, DUI is reserved for minors who have any detectable amount of Alcohol in their body. A DWI (Driving while intoxicated) is a class B misdemeanor. The offense is found in section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code. A person can be charged with DWI, regardless of age, if they a) have lost the normal use of their mental or physical faculties or b) have an alcohol concentration over the legal limit of 0.08. For a more in-depth explanation of the difference between DWI and DUI, see the article below written by my law partner Hunter Biederman. You can view Hunter’s Blog at www.friscodwilawyer.com.

By Frisco DWI Lawyer Hunter Biederman

In Texas, DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated (1st), is a crime that can carry with it up to 180 days in jail, and up to a $2,000 fine. DWI carries with it a harsher punishment and penalties than DUI. In order for the state to convict someone of DWI, they must prove that the driver of a motor vehicle either had above a .08 BAC, or lost the normal use of their mental or physical faculties due to the introduction of alcohol, a drug, or a combination of the two. You can receive a DWI at any age (above or below 21). With each conviction, the punishment & ramifications of a conviction go up.

In Texas, DUI, or Driving Under the Influence is a crime that can only be committed by a minor under 21. The controlling statute is the Alcohol Beverage Code § 106.041. In order for the state to prove that you are Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, the state must prove you were a motor vehicle in a public place while having any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor’s system. BUT, if the police believe that you are above a .08 BAC, or you have lost the normal use of your mental or physical faculties, you may end up getting arrested for DWI, the more serious of the two crimes.

I have created the chart below to help explain the differences. No matter which crime you are charged with, DWI or DUI, the ramifications can be extraordinary. This is especially true for what can happen outside of the punishment ranges. Drivers License suspensions, future loans or employers, may see your record, and future criminal proceedings may be enhanced.

To view a DWI, DUI punishment chart, click here.

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