When clients call our law firm to discuss intoxication offenses, they often use the words DUI and DWI interchangeably. However, these two offenses are not the same thing in Texas. A DUI is reserved solely for people under the age of 21, while a person of any age can be charged DWI as long as certain elements are met.
To be sure, both offenses can have long-lasting future implications. That’s why it is so important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if you or a loved one has been arrested on a DUI, DWI or any other intoxication offense.
In this article, we are going to explain the difference between DUI and DWI in Texas and what you should do if you or a loved one has been arrested for an intoxication crime. But first please take a moment and watch this video by experienced Fort Worth DUI lawyer Anna Summersett, who is also board certified in criminal law.
In Texas, DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. A person commits the offense of DUI if he or she is under the age of 21 and drives with any detectible amount of alcohol in their system. This offense only applies to individuals who have not reached the legal drinking age. This can be confusing because “DUI” in many other states means something very different. In most states “DUI” is the equivalent of a DWI in Texas.
In Texas, DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. A person commits the offense of DWI if he or she operates a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Intoxication means the driver has a blood alcohol concentration of a .08 or greater or has lost the normal use of their mental and physical faculties due to the introduction of any substance into their body, including alcohol, illicit drugs or prescription drugs. A person can be charged with DWI at any age.
In this table, our Fort Worth DUI lawyer breaks down the main differences between a DWI and a DUI in Texas, including the offense, punishment and license suspensions.
|Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)|
|Applies to drivers under 21||Age is not a factor|
|Charges stem from alcohol use only||Charges stem from any intoxicant, including alcohol, illicit drugs and prescription drugs|
|Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum $500 fine||Class B Misdemeanor, punishable by 3 to 180 days in the county jail|
|60 day license suspension||90 to 180 day license suspension|
|Section 106.041 Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code||Chapter 49.04, Texas Penal Code|
Quality representation for an experienced DWI lawyer will cost between $5,000-$25,000 pre-trial in most cases in Texas. The amount will depend on the quality and experience of the lawyer, as well as the facts and circumstances of the case. For the best possible outcome, you want an experienced attorney who has a proven track record of successful results.
DUI cases can and do get dismissed. A great resolution, such as dismissal, depends on the a number of factors, including the quality of the defense lawyer, the reasonableness of the prosecutor, and the strength of the evidence. In some jurisdictions, prosecutors will rarely, if ever, consider a dismissal. To learn more about dismissals in Fort Worth and the surrounding areas, please call our office at 817-203-2220 for a free consultation with a Fort Worth DUI lawyer.
DWI cases are harder to get dismissed, but it does happen. We have a very thorough article on the most common ways to get a DWI dismissed, which you can check out here. Please also take a moment to watch this video by Board Certified Criminal Defense Lawyer Benson Varghese.
To find the best Fort Worth DUI lawyer or DWI lawyer, you need to put in the leg work. Read reviews, narrow down your list, and then contact them for a consultation. During the consultation ask important questions to ascertain their experience, skills, strategy and compassion. You don’t want to be treated like just a number when you are going through a difficult time in your life. Please take a moment to read our article, Five Steps to Finding the Best DWI/DUI Lawyer in 2022.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI or another intoxication offense in Fort Worth or the surrounding area, it’s imperative to contact an experienced defense attorney right away. That is the single most important thing you can do.
Our team of former prosecutors and board certified criminal law attorneys have handled thousands of intoxication offenses and have a proven record of success. We can help. Call 817-203-2220 for a free consultation with an experienced Fort Worth DUI lawyer.