Differences In Texas Between DUI And DWI

Sometimes we get calls from people asking what the difference in Texas law between a DUI and a DWI.  A lot of people think DUI is driving while impaired from drugs while DWI is driving while impaired from alcohol.  That’s not what those terms mean when used by prosecutors and courts.

A person can get a DWI in Texas by losing control of their normal physical faculties or normal mental faculties by alcohol or any other drugs.  It could be xanax, cocaine, marijuana.  There have even been fringe cases where prosecutors attempt to charge a person for DWI for taking their prescription medication.  Any type of drug that affects your normal physical or mental faculties could be charged as a DWI.  DWI is typically a class A or B misdemeanor, and prosecuted in a county court.  These are very serious charges, and if you want to talk to a lawyer about one of those, give us a call. 

A DUI in Texas is a class c misdemeanor.  That is on the same level of offense as a traffic ticket.  A DUI is a driver under the age of 21 who has “any detectable amount of alcohol” in their system.  The idea is that a person who is under the legal age to drink should be charged for having any alcohol in their system, not just when they are above a .08 BAC.  These charges are also serious, but less so than a DWI.  If it is handled poorly, a DUI can stay on someone’s record for life; while if handled well it might be eligible for complete legal erasure from their record.  If you know someone who has a DUI, we are more than happy to talk with you or them to help make sur the charge is taken care of correctly.  

If you have any further questions about the difference between DWI and DUI, go ahead and give us a call.  We will get RC on the phone to talk to you about the specifics of your case, and what we can offer to help.