Many people use the terms DUI and DWI interchangeably. Still, these offenses under Texas law have very distinct legal differences. DUI, or Driving Under the influence, is a crime specific to minors who have gotten behind the wheel after consuming any alcohol.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Because minors cannot legally drink alcohol, any detectable amount of alcohol can lead to a DUI charge. The legal limit for minors is no alcohol. This means that they are violating the law eve n if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below .08. While considered less serious than DWIs, a DUI can leave a mark on your criminal record.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, represents the more serious charge on the impaired driving spectrum. To be convicted with a DWI, the State must prove that you were operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. For more information about DWI penalties, please check out my guide.
Texas law defines intoxication as not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties because of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or having an alcohol concentration BAC of 0.08 or more.
DUIs Are Only For Minors
While the State cannot charge individuals over the age of 21 with a DUI, the State can charge minors with a DWI. If a minor happens to be intoxicated (>.08 BAC), they can be charged with both a DUI for having any alcohol in their system and a DWI for being intoxicated.
Contact me for a free case review if you are charged with Driving While Intoxicated in Comal County or other Central Texas counties such as Hays County, Guadalupe County, Travis County, or Bexar County.