DUI vs DWI in Austin, Texas

While most people use DWI and DUI interchangeably, these are actually two separate legal terms with their own separate sets of laws. In Texas, the biggest distinction between the two is age. No matter which one you are being charged with, it is essential to make sure you have representation. Contact The Hull Firm for an experienced Texas DWI Attorney.


Driving while intoxicated means you can have alcohol in your system while driving, but cannot be intoxicated. According to Texas DWI laws, the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent. Anything above that limit is considered intoxicated. This limit only applies to anyone 21 years and older. 

It is important to note that due to Texas’s zero-tolerance policy regarding alcohol-impaired driving, a driver can be arrested and charged even if their BAC is below the legal limit.


When found with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system, a driver under the age of 21 will be charged with driving under the influence. A driver does not need to be visibly impaired for an arrest to happen. In the state of Texas, it is legal for persons under the age of 21 to consume alcohol with a parent present but it is not legal for them to operate a vehicle after alcohol consumption. 

Being under 21 does not exempt a driver from being charged with a DWI. In certain cases, a driver can be charged with both DUI and DWI. 


Another distinction between DWI and DUI is the penalties involved.


  • At least 72 hours jail time/ 6 days if driver is in possession of an open container of alcohol
  • With first conviction Driver’s license suspended 90 days to one year
  • Subsequent convictions are another 18 months suspension
  • Possible completion of alcohol education program
  • Fine- up to $5,000
  • Fine- Up to $8500 if 2nd DWI is within 36 months of 1st, or up to $10,000 if BAC is over .15


  • No Jail time for first conviction/ subsequent offences will receive jail time
  • With first conviction Driver’s license suspended minimum of 60 days
  • Subsequent convictions are 120 days or more of suspension 
  • Possible required probation, community service, and alcohol education program
  • Fine- up to $500

Penalties increase when the driver is charged with other alcohol-related crimes. Such crimes might include: open container in a moving vehicle, driving intoxicated with a child under 15 years, intoxicated assault, and intoxicated manslaughter. 

A driver is always entitled to a hearing. It is especially important to have an experienced Texas DWI laws lawyer advocating for you and your future. Don’t do this alone, let The Hull Firm stand by you.

For a free case review, contact The Hull Firm at (512) 599-9999. Our Austin DWI attorneys are here to help 24/7.

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Call The Hull Firm today at 512-599-9999 for your free case review. We are your Austin DWI Attorney here to help you with your DWI and Criminal Defense needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Call The Hull Firm today at 512-599-9999 for your free case review. We are your Austin DWI Attorney here to help you with your DWI and Criminal Defense needs 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Phone: 512.599.9999
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Founded in 2003, we are a highly-rated, award-winning DWI & Criminal Defense firm. The Hull Firm has represented thousands of businesses and individuals over the years in many types of civil and criminal litigation.

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Mark Hull

Mark Hull

Mark Hull