It is a common misunderstanding that a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge is the same thing as a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge. In some states this may be true, however in Texas, these are two distinct crimes. To add to the confusion, even attorneys and judges in Texas will often be heard using these two terms interchangeably.
What’s the difference between DUI and DWI?
While most offenses in Texas stem from the Penal Code, DUI arises from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code. This offense is only applicable to minors operating a vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. As minors cannot legally consume alcohol, there is no “legal limit” in this situation; it is zero tolerance. Furthermore, there is no contemplation of being under the influence of drugs or any other substance, only alcohol.
DWI originates from the Penal Code and is different from DUI in several ways. The most prominent is that there is a legal alcohol concentration limit of .08. Additionally, the element of intoxication may also be proven through evidence that the driver had lost the use of their mental or physical faculties. DWI also does not stop at alcohol, and intoxication can also be proven through evidence of the use of a drug or other substance.
While an adult over the legal drinking age cannot be charged with DUI, a minor can still be charged with DWI, and in San Antonio, that is often the case. When charged with DWI or DUI it is important to seek the advice of the best attorney that you can. The criminal defense team of Ramos & Del Cueto is experienced in defending those charged with DWI and DUI in San Antonio and throughout Texas, and we are ready to put that experience to work for you. Contact us today to see what our experienced attorneys can do for your case.