Texas DWI vs. DUI: Know the Difference

October 16th, 2023

In everyday conversation, we often use the terms DUI and DWI interchangeably, but the truth is that these are not the same charges, and each can carry with it a different set of penalties.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI or DWI in Texas, a  San Antonio DWI attorney can help you figure out what to do next. Keep reading to learn the difference between a DWI and DUI so you can better protect your rights.

What Is a Texas DWI?

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is defined under Texas Penal Code Section 49.04. The law defines DWI as operating a vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. Intoxication is determined by taking a blood alcohol content (BAC) test, with a BAC reading of 0.08% or higher falling into the range of intoxication. Drivers with BAC levels at or above 0.15% may face harsher penalties for DWI.

What Is a Texas DUI?

Driving under the influence (DUI) is found under Texas Penal Code Section 106.041. Like with DWIs, you can be charged with a DUI for driving while intoxicated in public. However, unlike a DWI, you can be charged with a DUI if you have any amount of an impairing agent in your system if you’re driving erratically.

How Are Texas DUI and DWI Different?

There are two main differences between DWIs and DUIs in Texas: the penalties for the crime, and who is most often charged. Keep in mind that these penalties can vary. A DWI lawyer in San Antonio can help you determine what penalties you may be facing after a criminal charge.

Who Is Charged With DWIs and DUIs?

While DWIs are most often charged against adults operating motor vehicles with BAC contents higher than 0.08%, DUIs are more frequently charged against drivers under the age of 21 found with alcohol in their system.

What Are the Penalties for DWIs and DUIs?

The BAC level required for a DWI is higher than that required for a DUI, so it shouldn’t be surprising that DWIs also have higher possible penalties. A DUI is a Class C misdemeanor in Texas, but a DWI is a Class B misdemeanor, with the potential to be upgraded to a Class A for BAC levels over 0.15%. The penalties you face will depend on the severity of your case and whether or not you’ve faced similar charges in the past.

DUI Penalties

  • Fines of up to $500
  • Up to 40 hours community service
  • License suspension up to 60 days
  • Alcohol awareness classes

DWI Penalties

  • Fines of up to $2,000
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • License suspension up to 2 years
  • Alcohol awareness classes

Your DWI Lawyer in San Antonio: John G. Perez Jr.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI or DWI in Texas, you could be facing significant consequences. A criminal defense attorney can help you investigate your charges and identify opportunities to reduce your charges or penalties.

If you’re facing DUI or DWI charges in San Antonio, don’t face the process of defending your rights on your own. Reach out to experienced San Antonio DWI lawyer John G. Perez Jr. for a high-quality defense.

Charged with DUI or DWI in Texas? Reach out to experienced San Antonio DWI and DUI defense attorney John G. Perez Jr. for help defending your rights.

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