DUI vs DWI. You’re over at your friends house when he suggests trying this new beer his father got. You’re hesitant at first, until your friend says, “Come on, dude, it’s just one beer.”
“True. But I drove here,” you say. “Couldn’t I get a DWI or whatever?”
“Nah,” your friend says. “It’s literally one beer. I bet the cops couldn’t even tell you drank anything.”
Unfortunately, you learned your friend was wrong on the drive home. Not only did you get busted for drinking that one beer, you got a DUI instead of a DWI. If you’ve recently gotten a DUI and wanted to know the difference between a DUI and DWI, read on.
DUI vs. DWI: The Differences
DUI and DWI stand for driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated. There are few differences between DUIs and DWIs. They are:
- Your age
- How much you drank
- Possible punishments
Below we’re going to through each section to better understand the differences.
Your age at the time the cop pulls you over matters. If you’re under the age of 21 you’ll most likely get a DUI. If you’re over the age of 21 you most likely get a DWI.
No matter what age you are, never drink and drive. And if you do have a drink, don’t chance it. Get a ride.
“But I’ve heard that DUIs are not so bad. So what if I drink?” While it’s true the punishments for DUIs and DWIs are different (more on that below), there is a chance you could get a DWI even though you’re under 21. We’ll go into that in the next section.
How Much You Drank Matters
Another factor that determines if you’ll get a DUI or DWI is BAC. BAC stands for blood alcohol content. This is how much ethanol (alcohol) is in the bloodstream, and its measurement could potentially harm your DUI case.
Let’s go back to the situation above. If you’re under 21 and only drank one beer it’s possible your BAC might be low. However, under Texas’s Zero Tolerance law how little you drank does not matter.
“What is Texas’s Zero Tolerance law?” This is a great question to ask. Texas law states that anyone under the age of 21 is a minor. Minors in Texas can’t buy, attempt to buy, consume, or possess any alcohol. This means that if you’re under 21 and have any detectable amount of alcohol in your system, you could get a DUI.
Yes, you read that right. It does not matter how little you drank. If you’re under 21 and have ANY alcohol in your system, you WILL get a DUI.
What’s worse is that if you have more than a BAC of 0.8, you could possibly get s DWI. Getting a BAC of 0.8 is easier than you think and could carry harsher punishments. Below we’ll go over the possible punishments both DUIs and DWIs.
If you get a DUI, you could face:
- Fines up to $500 dollars
- A 60-day suspension of your drivers’ license
- 20-40 hours of community service
- Mandatory alcohol awareness classes
If you get a DWI, you could face:
- Fines up to $2,000
- A jail sentence between 3-180 days
- Losing your driver’s license for up to a year
- Yearly fees of $1,000-$2000 that you’ll have to pay for 3 years to KEEP your license.
Keep in mind that these punishments are only for your FIRST DUI and DWI. If you get a second or third, your punishment will increase in severity.
Hire DUI Lawyer, David Hunter Today!
If you want to know more about DUI vs DWI or think you need a Sugar Land DWI Lawyer, David Hunter can help. David’s extensive experience as a trial lawyer and Texas Judge have given him a unique perspective on the Texas criminal justice system that allows him to provide a top-notch defense to each and every client. He handles DWI cases regularly and knows exactly what to do so you’ll spend less time in court and jail.
Call (281) 417-3117 or click below to schedule a free consultation and see how David Hunter could help you with your case today!