DUI vs DWI: Which Is Worse?
If you’ve been charged with drinking and driving in Texas, you could face serious penalties that will affect you for years. But the specific charge will determine the penalties, as DUI and DWI carry different legal consequences. So, which one is worse? In general, being charged with DWI in Texas is worse because the penalties are harsher. Here’s what to know about the penalties for DUI vs. DWI in this state.
What Are the Penalties for DUI?
If you’re charged with DUI, it means you were impaired while driving, but your BAC was not .08% or more. As a result, you can get a DUI if you have any alcohol in your system, particularly if you are under the legal drinking age of 21. So, if your BAC was .04% when you were behind the wheel and a police officer saw signs of impairment, you’ll likely be charged with DUI.
The penalties for this charge usually include a fine of up to $500 and up to 40 hours of community service. The driver’s license is typically suspended for 60 days, and the court may order the driver to complete an alcohol awareness course.
What Are the Penalties for DWI?
If your BAC is .08% or higher, you’ll likely be charged with DWI, whether you’re over 21 years old or a minor. Since the BAC limit for DWI is higher than for DUI, the penalties are harsher. For instance, unlike a DUI, a DWI can lead to jail time. More specifically, you could spend anywhere from 3 to 180 days in jail.
You will also lose your driver’s license for up to one year and pay a fine of up to $2,000. In addition, you will typically have to complete an alcohol addiction treatment course. The penalties will become more serious if this is your second or third DWI since you can expect to pay more in fines, lose your license for longer, and spend more time in jail.
Can a Texas Lawyer Help You with Either Charge?
As you can see, DWI is considered worse based on its penalties. After all, it’s usually the charge you get when your BAC is higher than .08%, while the DUI charge is reserved for minors under 21 years old. As a result, a DUI requires no jail time.
Whether you were charged with DUI or DWI, it’s essential to seek legal assistance from a lawyer you can trust. The right legal representative for your case can find ways to get your charge dismissed or negotiated to a lesser offense so you can avoid some or all of these legal penalties. Contact our law office in Bedford at (972) 573-4532 when you’re ready to discuss your case.