What is the Difference Between a DUI and DWI in Texas?

Posted by Daniel Lawrence on January, 2019

In 2017, 62 drivers under 21 and 882 drivers 21 and over were involved in alcohol-related fatal crashes. Why is age significant? Your age determines the charge incurred and the penalties assessed. Let’s take a look at why age matters if you’re considering to hire a DWI in San Antonio Texas.

Difference Between DWI and DUI

In Texas, although DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and DUI (Driving Under the Influence) both refer to driving after imbibing alcohol and/or drugs, there are two main differences

The first difference is the age of the driver. A DUI refers to a driver under 21 years old with alcohol in his system. It doesn’t matter if the driver is impaired. It does matter if alcohol is detected in his system. Texas’s zero-tolerance policy means they will not tolerate any alcohol in a minor’s system. The DWI is charged to a driver over 21-years-old who has a .08 breath or blood alcohol concentration, or he is impaired by drugs.

The second difference between a DWI and DUI is how the driver is penalized. A driver under the age of 21 is punished as follows:

  • Fined a maximum of $500
  • License is suspended for 60 days
  • Community service ranging from 20 to 40 hours
  • Completion of classes on alcohol awareness

A driver over 21 suffers the following penalties:

  • Fined a maximum of $2,000
  • License is suspended for 1 to 2 years
  • Serve jail time of 3 to 180 days
  • A yearly fee for 3 years of $1,000 or $2,000 is imposed to keep their driver’s license
  • May serve probation

The penalties stated above are based on the first offense. Penalties are stiffer for each subsequent offense. Second and third offenses will result in jail time and high court costs and additional fines.

Time Sensitive Issues

It is essential to seek the advice of an attorney as soon as you are charged with a DUI or DWI in San Antonio Texas.

If charged with a DUI, you will need to request a hearing within 15 days to stop the 60-day suspension of your driver’s license.

If you are charged with a DWI, you must complete an Alcohol Education Program within 180 days after the date you were convicted. If you miss this deadline, your driver’s license may be revoked.

If you are charged with a DWI in San Antonio Texas, seek advice from the top defense attorneys at the Law Office of Jesse Hernandez. Call today or visit their website for more information: jessehernandezlaw.com.

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