Understanding the difference between a DUI and a DWI

On Behalf of | May 12, 2023 | Blog, DWI-DUI

If you drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Texas, you may find yourself facing a DWI or a DUI. While these terms are similar, there are important differences in what they mean.

Learn what these two terms mean in the State of Texas.

DUI vs. DWI in Texas

DUI stands for driving under the influence. DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. At first glance, the two may seem to mean essentially the same thing. In fact, many people use the two interchangeably. However, in Texas, unless you are under the age of 21, a DWI is the official charge you receive if you drive drunk or under the influence of drugs.

The term DUI typically only applies to those under the legal drinking age. A person under 21 can receive the charge if they have consumed any alcohol before getting behind the wheel, even if their blood alcohol content is below the legal limit for those of legal age.

Additional information to keep in mind

Typically, a DUI has less serious legal consequences than a DWI. However, you should not take either charge lightly. Possible punishments include fines, jail time and losing your driver’s license. Certain situations can lead to more severe consequences, such as receiving a DWI while transporting children.

While the legal drinking age is what separates a DUI from a DWI in Texas, keep in mind that these terms can have different meanings in other States. You should stay informed about the local laws and policies in your area.