Understanding DWI/DUI

Often we hear two terms related to driving and intoxication: DWI and DUI. For the most part, these terms are used synonymously. When a distinction is made, DWI usually means driving while intoxicated with alcohol, and DUI means driving while under the influence of some drug or chemical substance. One Texas statute criminalizes both terms by referring to intoxication as being caused by alcohol, by drug, or by a combination of drugs and alcohol. However, you should be aware that local municipalities and justice courts use DUI to refer to a minor (a person under 21) who is under the influence of alcohol, but who may not be intoxicated.

In all situations, our attorneys strive to achieve the best possible results for our clients. We stay abreast of developments in DWI/DUI law by attending specialized continuing education classes, which focus upon the methodology and “science” behind impairment cases. (We use the term “science” loosely, as there is very little scientific evidence establishing the accuracy of the breath test machine or the field sobriety tests that are used in Texas.)

Circumstances & Misconceptions Surrounding DWI/DUI Arrests

Often we are asked how so many people are prosecuted for DWI/DUI. Many of our clients have just left dinner where they had only a couple of glasses of wine; it might be they were entertaining a client, or maybe they just left a club. The State often instructs officers to watch for cars leaving popular nightspots, and they almost always find the signs they need in order to stop the driver and start the DWI/DUI process rolling. Furthermore, law enforcement agencies have what are commonly called DWI/DUI Task Forces. These officers have extensive training and experience related to finding people who may be intoxicated, as well as training on how to testify against defendants charged with DUI/DWI. Prosecutors are also very experienced in trying DWI/DUI cases because so many citizens are charged with this crime. With officers and prosecutors trained to convict, you need an experienced defense attorney on your side to fight for your rights.

Also contributing to the high number of DWI/DUI prosecutions, MADD and other local and national organizations regularly make television commercials and other media statements boldly claiming, “DRINK, DRIVE & GO TO JAIL.” These types of statements misconstrue the law and are only meant to poison juries against those charged with driving while intoxicated. We work to break down these biases and generalizations, so that our clients receive a fair trial based on the merits of their case.

Seek Experienced, Effective Representation

Along with the immediate consequences of a DWI/DUI arrest, a conviction can impact your personal and professional life for years to come, affecting your ability to procure employment, promotions, or a professional license. Furthermore, if you are successfully prosecuted, the State will make you pay a surcharge to keep your driving privileges. We work tirelessly to defend our clients against DWI/DUI charges, allowing them to put this stressful and difficult time behind them as swiftly as possible. If you or someone you love has been charged with DWI/DWI, please contact Musick & Musick LLP today. We offer a 24-7 phone service.


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