In Texas, D.W.I. and D.U.I. charges, as well as B.W.I. (Boating While Intoxicated) can have serious legal consequences. We can help. We have vast experience in the practice of criminal defense law, and have obtained numerous “not guilty” verdicts for our clients. Please fill out the contact form on this website, or call Berlof & Newton, P.C. @ 214.827.2800.
In many states, the terms Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) are interchangeable. In Texas, the terms mean something very different. You should understand the difference between a DWI and DUI charge.
In Texas, if you are over the age of 21, it is legal to drink and drive, so long as you are not “intoxicated.” However, if you are under 21, it is unlawful to drink and drive at all. This means that anyone under the age of 21 who is alleged to operate a motor vehicle with a “detectable amount” of alcohol in his or her system can be charged with a DUI. In other words, in Texas, you cannot be charged with a DUI if you are 21 or older. Driving under the influence is considered a class “C” misdemeanor and is punishable by a maximum fine of $500. Upon conviction, you may lose your license, be required to perform up to 40 hours of community service, and be ordered to attend an alcohol education course.
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a Class “B” misdemeanor, as is boating while intoxicated (BWI), both of which are punishable by up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000 for a 1st offense.
While only a minor can be charged with DUI, you can be charged with DWI or BWI at any age. In Texas, you can be convicted of DWI if the state proves one of the following:
1. You did not have the normal use of your mental faculties, by reason of the introduction of alcohol or another intoxicant into your system,
2. You did not have the normal use of your physical faculties, by reason of the introduction of alcohol or another intoxicant into your system, OR
3. You had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) greater than .08.
The statutory authority for the prosecution of DWI’s in Texas is, in part, set forth in the Texas Penal Code, Section 49.04. Please note that the following excerpt is only a small portion of the statutory law relevant to DWI’s in Texas, is provided for reference purposes only, and should not be considered legal advice:
Texas Penal Code Section 49.04. DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED. (a) A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.
(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c) and Section 49.09, an offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours.
(c) If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that at the time of the offense the person operating the motor vehicle had an open container of alcohol in the person’s immediate possession, the offense is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of six days.
If you have been arrested for a Dallas County D.W.I., call the Dallas County D.W.I. lawyers at Berlof & Newton, P.C. Our Dallas County D.W.I. attorneys can assist you with your DWI or DUI not only in Dallas County, but also in Collin, Denton, Tarrant, Ellis, Rockwall, and Kaufman Counties. Call us now @ 214.827.2800 or use the contact form on this website.