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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Montgomery County DWI Lawyer - Is a DWI worse than a DUI in Texas?

Montgomery County DWI Lawyer - Is a DWI worse than a DUI in Texas?


Yes, a DWI is worse than a DUI in Texas. A DUI is a ticket and a DWI is an arrestable offense in Texas. A DWI is a class B misdemeanor for first time offenders and is punishable by up to 180 days in jail. A DUI is a class C misdemeanor and is punishable by only a $500 fine. Its a big difference. Only individuals who are under 21 years old can be charged with DUI.


Sec. 106.041. DRIVING OR OPERATING WATERCRAFT UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL BY MINOR. (a) A minor commits an offense if the minor operates a motor vehicle in a public place, or a watercraft, while having any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor's system.

For a DWI it isn't enough to prove that you had alcohol in your system at all. The law says that you have to be intoxicated to the point that you have lost the normal use of your mental or physical faculties or have an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.


A DWI is so much worse than a DUI. It is important to note that you can still be arrested for DWI even if you are under 21. Any person who is "intoxicated" and operates a motor vehicle in a public place can be arrested for DWI.


Typically you will not report for any type of probation for a DUI. But for a DWI if your lawyer can't get the case dismissed you could end up being on probation. Being on probation in Texas can be a challenging and complicated process. Probation is a court-ordered program that allows individuals convicted of a crime to avoid incarceration but still be subject to specific conditions and restrictions. Some of the difficulties of being on probation in Texas include frequent meetings with a probation officer, mandatory drug and alcohol testing, limited travel, and employment restrictions. Individuals on probation may also be required to attend counseling, pay fines and fees, and perform community service. Violating any of the terms of probation can result in significant consequences, including revocation of probation and incarceration. Additionally, probationers may face social stigma and difficulty finding employment due to their criminal record. Overall, successfully completing probation in Texas requires commitment, discipline, and a willingness to comply with the court's orders and restrictions.



Sec. 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 Subsections (c) and (d) and Section 49.09, an offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours.

(2)  "Intoxicated" means:
(A)  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
(B)  having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
Sec. 106.041.  DRIVING OR OPERATING WATERCRAFT UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL BY MINOR.  (a)  A minor commits an offense if the minor operates a motor vehicle in a public place, or a watercraft, while having any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor's system.
(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), an offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
(c)  If it is shown at the trial of the defendant that the defendant is a minor who is not a child and who has been previously convicted at least twice of an offense under this section, the offense is punishable by:
(1)  a fine of not less than $500 or more than $2,000;
(2)  confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days;  or
(3)  both the fine and confinement.
(d)  In addition to any fine and any order issued under Section 106.115, the court shall order a minor convicted of an offense under this section to perform community service for:
(1)  not less than 20 or more than 40 hours, if the minor has not been previously convicted of an offense under this section;  or
(2)  not less than 40 or more than 60 hours, if the minor has been previously convicted of an offense under this section.
(e)  Community service ordered under this section must be related to education about or prevention of misuse of alcohol.
(f)  A minor who commits an offense under this section and who has been previously convicted twice or more of offenses under this section is not eligible for deferred disposition or deferred adjudication.
(g)  An offense under this section is not a lesser included offense under Section 49.04, 49.045, or 49.06, Penal Code.
(h)  For the purpose of determining whether a minor has been previously convicted of an offense under this section:
(1)  an adjudication under Title 3, Family Code,  that the minor engaged in conduct described by this section is considered a conviction under this section;  and
(2)  an order of deferred disposition for an offense alleged under this section is considered a conviction of an offense under this section.
(i)  A peace officer who is charging a minor with committing an offense under this section is not required to take the minor into custody but may issue a citation to the minor that contains written notice of the time and place the minor must appear before a magistrate, the name and address of the minor charged, and the offense charged.
(j)  In this section:
(1)  "Child" has the meaning assigned by Section 51.02, Family Code.
(2)  "Motor vehicle" has the meaning assigned by Section 32.34(a), Penal Code.
(3)  "Public place" has the meaning assigned by Section 1.07, Penal Code.
(4)  "Watercraft" has the meaning assigned by Section 49.01, Penal Code.
Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1013, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.  Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1207, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.
Amended by: 
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 29, eff. September 1, 2005.
Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1348 (S.B. 328), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.
Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1348 (S.B. 328), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.
Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1348 (S.B. 328), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.

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