What is the difference between a DUI and DWI in Texas? The terms are often used interchangeably. But do they mean different things?
Yes. First of all, they stand for different things. DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence, while DWI is an acronym for Driving While Intoxicated.
DUI is used to refer to the offense that minors (individuals under the age of 21, for these purposes) commit when they operate a motor vehicle with any trace of alcohol in their system.
Texas' zero tolerance policy means that minors can't drive a car after having consumed any amount of alcohol. For this reason, minors don't have to be intoxicated in order to break an alcohol law related to driving. They merely have to be under the influence of any amount of alcohol to be breaking the law, hence the name Driving Under the Influence.
DWI, on the other hand, refers to the offense committed by anyone, regardless of age, when he or she drives an automobile while intoxicated. This means that if a minor is found to be driving while intoxicated, he or she can receive both a DUI and a DWI.
"Intoxicated" can mean sustaining a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, but it can also mean not possessing normal physical or mental faculties as a result of consumption of alcohol, some other substance, or a combination of the two.
If you have received a DWI, it is important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. Contact the Kyle Law Firm for help, and our Austin DWI attorneys will fight hard to defend your rights.