A lot of people often ask what the difference between DUI and DWI are. Most people think they are the same. Actually, they are the same in a sense that both are violations for drunk driving, but they are also somehow different when defined — driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is the term used to refer to adults, over 21 years of age who are caught driving when they exceeded the acceptable Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) which is 0.08. On the other hand, Driving Under Influence (DUI) is a charge given to minors, those who are 21 years old and below who are caught driving with alcohol in their system.
When you are minor in Texas, you are not allowed to drive when you have consumed even the slightest amount of alcohol. They observe zero-tolerance when it comes to teenage drinking and driving as most of the worst instances of drunk driving reported involve teenagers.
Now, you might be aware that there are instances when DWI and DUI are considered a misdemeanor and a felony. So, when is a DUI charged as a misdemeanor? How many DUI is a felony in Texas? To answer your questions, let us give you a guideline on the corresponding penalties of DUI in the state.
Your first and second DUI offense will get dealt with as a misdemeanor. The corresponding consequences vary depending on the gravity of the crime.
For first offense DUI, your license may get suspended for 60 days, and you will need to pay a fine of a maximum of $500. You may also need to render community service for not less than 20 hours but no more than 40 hours plus you need to attend alcohol-awareness classes. As a first-time offender, penalties are light but doing it the second time have more substantial consequences.
For your second DUI offense, it can also readily be treated similarly to that of a DWI offense although it is still a misdemeanor charge. You will need to pay a fine of no more than $4000 plus a jail time of 30 days up to one year. Furthermore, your driver’s license will also get suspended for no less than 180 days but no more than two years. It will also get counted as a criminal offense already, and thus will stay on your record. It could affect anything you do in the future just like when applying for scholarships or student loans. Therefore, if you already got charged once, do not make the same mistake of driving while intoxicated again as it could jeopardize your future.
Your third DUI offense will no longer be considered as a misdemeanor; instead, the law will write you down for a third-degree felony. As a felony charge, you will need to pay a maximum of $10000 plus imprisonment of 2 to 10 years. Additionally, you will get disqualified for voting as well as possession of any firearm. Furthermore, your license may also be suspended for 180 days up to 2 years.
If you need any assistance relating to a DUI or DWI charge, it is best to get in touch with the best lawyers in the area. Feel free to visit our office for help.