Drunk driving is a crime that is designated in most cases as DUI or DWI. The offense of DUI is “driving under the influence” while DWI is “driving while intoxicated.” Each acronym refers to driving while affected by an illegal substance, but there are nuances to their meanings that make them different. In Texas, DUI is used much less often than DWI as a designation for a drunk driving crime. Read on to learn more.

 

DUI refers to the criminal offense of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. Across the U.S., you can be arrested and charged with either DUI or DWI depending on the laws of that particular state.  In Texas, you can be arrested for DWI if you exhibit a lack of control over your mental and/or physical faculties as observed by a law enforcement officer. In the Lone Star State, DUI is different.

 

In Texas, the term DUI is only for cases involving minors who operate a motor vehicle under the influence of an illegal substance.  All that it takes to be arrested and charged for a DUI is an officer claiming that an under-aged driver smells like alcohol, marijuana or some other illegal substance.  That said, in most drunk driving cases, the driver–whether a minor or adult–tends to be assessed with Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and is charged with DWI rather than DUI. 

 

A Texas DUI is a Class C misdemeanor offense that is punishable by a fine of up to $500. A DWI is designated as a Class B misdemeanor offense, unless the alcohol concentration measured in the blood of the driver is 0.15 BAC or the driver had a previous conviction for DWI.  In those situations, the driver is charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Minors who are charged with DWI can face these sever consequences.  Offenders face possible punishments including fines, suspensions of driving privileges, installation of ignition interlock devices in their vehicles (which keep a car from starting without a clean breath specimen), and even jail time.

 

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Texas is a serious offense and can result in serious legal ramifications as well as other lifetime consequences. Having a lawyer with success dealing with such cases is important when it comes to fighting Texas DUI and DWI charges because it can be complicated.  Defending against the charges requires a depth of knowledge that only an experienced legal professional can offer.

If you or a loved one has been charged with driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated in Houston, Texas, or the surrounding area, reach out immediately to a skilled lawyer like the counsel at Collin Evans LawCollin Evans has over a decade of experience handling DUI and DWI cases and will be able to explain the details of the situation to help you understand how he can help you with your defense and obtain the best possible outcome for your case. If you find yourself in need of an attorney’s services to fight DUI/DWI charges, call Collin Evans Law for legal assistance. Contact Attorney Collin Evans to discuss the details of your case today.