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DUI versus DWI in Texas

 Posted on May 09, 2022 in DWI

fort worth criminal defense lawyerWhile you are probably familiar with the abbreviations DUI and DWI, it is not always apparent that the two have different applications—and they are not necessarily interchangeable under Texas law. When you are using the words in everyday conversation the difference is not likely to be important, as most people understand that they are talking about driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated. However, in the Texas justice system, there are several very important differences between the two.

Age and BAC

The charges of DUI and DWI differentiate by age, mostly. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for under-aged drinking and driving. Anyone drinking before they reach the age of 21 and then drives may face charges for DUI, regardless of their alcohol level. If the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is equal to or greater than 0.08%, even those under-aged can face the harsher DWI charges. A driver who is over the legal drinking age of 21 who is legally intoxicated while driving on a public road may be charged with DWI.

In this context, “intoxicated” does not mean simply having a drink. To be intoxicated, one must either:

  • Not be in control of normal physical or mental faculties as a result of alcohol, drugs, or some other substance, or

  • Have a BAC of 0.08% or greater

Differences in Criminal Consequences

A DUI charge will not apply to anyone over the legal drinking age in the state of Texas. If you are under the age of 21 and have been drinking but your BAC is under the 0.08% legal limit, the penalties for a DUI conviction include:

  • A fine of up to $500.00

  • Driver’s license suspension for up to 60 days

  • Community service

  • Alcohol-awareness class attendance.

If you, regardless of your age, have consumed enough alcohol to be considered intoxicated and are found guilty in court, the penalties for a class B misdemeanor DWI include:

  • Fines up to $2,000
  • Imprisonment for up to 180 days
  • One-year driver’s license suspension
  • Mandatory participation in an alcohol intervention program
  • Requirement to install an ignition interlock device
  • Super Fines

Contact a Fort Worth Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer

If you or a member of your family is facing charges for DUI or DWI in North Texas, an experienced Fort Worth DWI defense attorney from The Dameron Law Firm can help ensure that your rights are fully protected. Call 817-222-0624 to schedule your free, confidential consultation and case review with a member of our team today. We are prepared to work hard on your behalf, no matter what challenges or charges you may be facing.





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