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DWI v. DUI

May 26th, 2009

The terms DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and DUI (Driving Under the Influence) are usually used interchangeably in every day conversation. In Texas, the legal meaning of the terms DWI and DUI are very different. A criminal defense attorney in Houston is the best person to call if you have questions about the legal meanings of DWI or DUI. DUI is often used to describe any person who has been arrested for drinking and driving. But in Texas, DUI is when a person under the age of 21 drives a car with any detectable alcohol on his breath. A person may be completely sober and show zero signs of intoxication and still be arrested for DUI. A DUI is a Class C misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $500, but there are possible driver’s license suspension problems.

DWI is more serious than DUI in Houston Texas. A citizen of any age can be arrested for Driving While Intoxicated. The first conviction for DWI is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. On top of that range of punishment, a person arrested for DWI is also facing driver’s license suspensions, surcharges, and an increase in insurance premiums. Unlike DUI, a DWI requires proof that a person has lost “the normal use of his mental or physical faculties.”

 

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