While the terms DUI and DWI are often used interchangeably, there are actually important differences between these two offenses that could play an important role in how a person goes about building a defense strategy. To learn more about defending yourself against DWI or DUI charges in Texas, please call our experienced Houston DWI/DUI lawyers today.
DWI Charges in Texas
In Texas, DWI charges can be filed against adults who are over the age of 21 years old and who are arrested for:
- Driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher; or
- Driving with inhibited physical or mental faculties due to the consumption of alcohol or a controlled substance.
DWIs are generally considered to be much more serious offenses than their DUI counterparts, as they are typically charged as Class B misdemeanors. For this reason, DWI convictions tend to come with harsher penalties, including a jail sentence of up to six months, fines of up to $2,000, and the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license for a year. These charges could be enhanced even further, however, if a person is arrested with a BAC of .15 or higher, or if someone else was injured because of a driver’s intoxication. In these cases, a person’s DWI charge could jump up to a felony.
DUI Charges in Texas
Unlike DWI charges, which are typically levied against adults who are accused of driving under the influence, DUI charges are reserved for drivers who are under the age of 21 years old. Furthermore, a person need not have a BAC of .08 in order to be charged with a DUI. This is because Texas adheres to what is known as a zero-tolerance policy, which means that a driver can be charged with DUI if he or she is underage and has any alcohol in his or her system at all.
DUIs are categorized as Class C misdemeanors, which come with the following penalties:
- Fines of up to $500;
- Up to 40 hours of mandatory community service;
- Attendance at a mandatory DUI education class; and
- A driver’s license suspension of up to 60 days.
These penalties could end up being even more severe, however, for drivers between the ages of 17 and 20 years old, whose BAC registers as .08 or higher. In these cases, fines will likely be increased, the accused could spend time in jail, and his or her license will be suspended for at least three months.
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Meet with Our Houston DWI/DUI Legal Team
Whether you were charged with a DWI or a DUI in the Greater Houston area, you’ll need the assistance of an experienced DWI attorney who can help you build a strong defense and protect your legal interests. To learn more about how our legal team can help with your case, please call Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A. Nelson at 713-489-7373 today. You can also schedule an initial consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys by completing the online contact form.