The Difference Between DWI & DUI in Texas

Although you may have heard of both a DWI and a DUI, you may not know that these are actually two separate legal concepts in Texas.

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) both refer to an individual operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, yet one is a criminal offense and the other is a serious traffic violation.

If you guessed that DWI was the more serious of the two, you’re correct. Although some states use the term “DUI” to refer to the same thing as DWI, Texas distinguishes that a DWI refers to the crime of driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated. If you are arrested with a blood alcohol concentration at or over 0.08%, you may be charged with DWI.

The potential penalties of a DWI conviction include jail time, probation, fines, a license revocation, mandatory alcohol and driving education courses, and other consequences as deemed appropriate by a judge.

What Is a DUI in Texas?

In Texas, a DUI is a traffic violation that only applies to people younger than 21 years old. Because these individuals are legally prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or consuming alcohol, any alcohol found in their system is illegal.

Because a DUI is a traffic violation, however, its penalties are much less severe than a DWI. In most cases, a DUI conviction in Texas results in a moderate fine.

Can Someone Get a DWI & a DUI?

Yes. Although someone younger than 21 will be cited for DUI when any amount of alcohol is found in their system, they can also be charged with DWI if their BAC exceeds the legal limit.

What Should I Do If I’m Arrested for DWI?

While you probably won’t be arrested for a DUI, you may be arrested for a DWI. If you are, it’s important to secure legal counsel that can help you defend against DWI charges in Texas.

Our attorneys at Rodriguez & Gimbert, P.L.L.C. can offer the legal support you require during this difficult time. To learn more about our representation, reach out to us today and request a consultation.

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