What Is The Difference Between A DWI And A DUI In Texas?
“DWI” and “DUI” do not mean the same thing in Texas.
“DWI” means an intoxicated person was operating a motor vehicle in a public place. “Intoxicated” means:
1) not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or
2) having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
Both adults and minors can be arrested for a DWI.
“DUI” (driving under the influence) means that a minor was charged with driving his car or operating a watercraft while he had any detectable amount of alcohol in his system. A “minor” is someone who is not yet 21 years old. “Any detectable amount of alcohol in his system” means that the police officer can smell alcohol on the minor’s breath. The minor is entitled to neither a breath nor a blood test. It is not against the law for an adult to drink and drive, so long as he is not intoxicated. For that reason, adults are never charged with “DUI” in Texas.
The confusion between these two terms comes up because different states use “DUI” to mean what we in Texas mean by “DUI.”
For more information visit: Texas Alcoholic Bev. Code § 106.041(a).