The difference between a DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated) goes beyond what the acronyms stand for.
In Texas what differentiates the charges is your age. If you’re 21 or older and drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above .08 percent, you would be charged with a DWI.
The DUI charge applies to individuals under 21. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for drinking and underage drivers, meaning that even if you’re BAC is below .08 and your driving isn’t impaired, you can still get a DUI if an officer detects alcohol on your person. It’s important to note, however, that someone under 21 can also be charged with a DWI if they drive intoxicated. Whether it’s a DUI or DWI depends on the law enforcement official that charges you.
The penalties of a DUI are far less severe than a DWI. Both involve license suspension, with DWI periods lasting far longer. The consequences of both the charges depend on past convictions (whether this is your first, second, or third time), determining fines and potential jail times. Another major factor that affects your charge is passengers. For example, a DWI becomes a felony if there is a minor in the car with the intoxicated driver.