PCS Bail Bonds

Serving all of Tarrant County, Texas

Toll-Free: (888)335-1655

Office: (817) 335-1655

Fax: (817) 335-1665

111 E. Rosedale Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76104

What Is the Difference Between DWI and DUI in Texas?

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dwi and dui in TexasIt’s important to state that driving after consuming any amount of alcohol is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. When it comes to differentiating between a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge and a Driving While Under the Influence (DUI) charge in Texas, the difference is really in the penalty along with some other slight but important variations that need to be known.

What Is a DUI under Texas Law?

DUIs are primarily aimed at minors under the age of 21. According to Texas law, no one under the age of 21 is allowed to consume any amount of alcohol before operating a motor vehicle. A DUI is classified as a Class C misdemeanor, which means there can be no jail time for the offender and there’s a maximum fine of $500.00.

Despite the absence of jail time, a DUI can carry probation along with the suspension of a minor’s license and community service. An officer only needs to smell alcohol on the minor’s breath or find an open container within the vehicle for charges to be filed. The long-time repercussions to a minor’s driving record are critical, so these cases are treated as methodically as any other infraction.

What Is a DWI under Texas Law?

Driving while intoxicated in most cases signifies when a driver exceeds the 0.08 blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) limit. These cases are usually tried as criminal offenses. In some instances, they don’t even require that the driver meet or exceed the 0.08 limit for someone to be charged.

If a driver’s mental capacity is in any way compromised due to the consumption of drugs or alcohol, this calls for a charge of DWI. This definition stretches to any motor vehicle, including operating water skis in a public setting, boating, or flying an aircraft.

Driving while intoxicated is a Class B misdemeanor that carries more severe penalties than the Class C DUI charge. For the first offense a minimum of 72 hours of jail time is given, and up to six days if an open container is found in the possession of the driver. The latter offense carries a $500.00 fine whether you’re the driver or passenger. An automatic 180-day suspension of the driver’s license is also mandatory with the DWI charge, and that suspension can be stretched up to one full year for first-time offenders and up to two years for second offenses. For the first offense, there can be a fine of up to $2,000 AND there’s an additional annual fee of $1,000–$2,000 to retain your driver’s license, with these fines increasing incrementally with second and third offenses.

If You’re Caught on a DWI or DUI in Texas

dwi in TexasRegardless of the whether it’s a DUI or DWI, it’s important that if pulled over on suspicion of either, the offender must comply with a breathalyzer. Failure to comply carries its own set of penalties. For those 21 and over, it means an automatic 180-day suspension of your license. For minors under 21, this suspension is for one full year. You must also present your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance when pulled over.

Think PCS Bail Bonds

PCS Bail Bonds has seen plenty of these cases come through our door. We’ve provided bail for both DUI and DWI defendants who have been suspected of operating a vehicle under the influence. In our experience, every case is different and every outcome is based specifically on the factors surrounding the incident.

If you have any questions about the penalties of DWI and DUI in Texas, or if someone you know was recently arrested for either, contact us now and we’ll answer whatever questions we can.

Source:

“Driving While Intoxicated,” Texas Department of Transportation web site; http://www.txdot.gov/driver/sober-safe/intoxication.html, last accessed April 29, 2016.

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Paul Schuder

Paul Schuder is the owner of PCS Bail Bonds and Profession Court Services (PCS). He is a lifelong resident of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Paul has over twenty years of courthouse experience, and has been in businesses involving the criminal justice system for his entire career. Paul has helped thousands of clients with their pursuit of justice and fair play. Mr. Schuder maintains high levels of respect with all the court house personnel, especially judges and attorneys. Using a close hands-on personal approach and a keen understanding of all cultures, helps people when they need it most. Add me to your G+

The content in our blog articles is for general information purposes only and should not be used in the place of legal advice. PCS Bail Bonds strives to provide content that is accurate and timely as of the date of writing; however, we assume no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, timeliness or usefulness of any information in the articles.

For legal advice, readers should contact a licensed attorney and consult the appropriate documentation for information on individual state laws.

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