DUI v. DWI
DUI and DWI are not the same thing (at least not in Texas). DWI is a criminal offense and at least a class B misdemeanor. DUI is a different offense that relates to the operation of a motor vehicle by a minor whose has a detectable amount of alcohol in his or her system (including on the breath). For a DUI, the state does not have to prove intoxication. That, in addition to the different punishment range, is the primary difference.
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, Sec. 106.041 provides that a minor commits this offense if he operates a motor vehicle in a public place while having any detectable amount of alcohol in his system. This offense is a Class C misdemeanor punished by a fine not to exceed $500.00. However, if a minor has 2 prior convictions, the punishment is a fine of not less than $500.00 or more than $2,000.00 and/or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 6 months! The court shall order a convicted minor to perform community service for not less than 20 hours or more than 40 hours. However, if he has a prior conviction, the community service is not less than 40 hours or more than 60 hours.
The Department of Public Safety shall suspend the minor’s driver’s license for 60 days if he has no prior convictions; 4 months if he has one prior conviction; or 6 months if he has 2 prior convictions. A minor who has been previously convicted twice is not eligible for a deferred disposition. For the purpose of determining whether a minor has a prior conviction, an order of deferred disposition for a prior offense is considered a conviction!
The court shall require a convicted minor who has not been previously convicted to attend an alcohol awareness course approved by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. If he has been previously convicted, the court may require him to attend the course.
A minor whose driver’s license is suspended for 60 days is not eligible for an occupational driver’s license for the first 30 days. A minor whose driver’s license is suspended for 4 months is not eligible for an occupational driver’s license for the first 3 months. A minor whose driver’s license is suspended for 6 months is not eligible for an occupational driver’s license!
If a minor refuses to submit to the taking of a specimen of his breath or blood for analysis to determine the alcohol concentration or the presence in his body of a controlled substance, drug, dangerous drug, or other substance, his driver’s license will be suspended for 4 months on the first arrest and 8 months on the second arrest.