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Public Intoxication versus Driving While Intoxicated

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PUBLIC INTOXICATION VERSUS DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED

Trichter & LeGrand DWI Lawyers

The difference between being publicly intoxicated and driving while intoxicated is simple:  

Public intoxication or “P.I.” is when a person who has been drinking proves to be a danger to himself or a danger to others. 

For driving while intoxicated or DWI purposes, “intoxication” is defined as having lost the normal use of mental or physical faculties or the person has an alcohol concentration of .08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or more. 

In other words, you would have to be more intoxicated to be charged with public intoxication than you would to be with driving while intoxicated.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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DWI Myths Miniseries Part 3: Drugged Driving

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DWI MYTHS MINISERIES PART 3: DRUGGED DRIVING

Trichter & LeGrand DWI Lawyers

As discussed in the first two parts of this series, there are many myths surrounding the DWI laws in Texas. 

Criminal attorneys in Houston often hear about situations that could have been prevented if the client had a clearer understanding of the law. 

It is our hope that the final installment of this miniseries clarifies any remaining misunderstandings when it comes to Texas DWI laws.

Drugged Driving – Myth No. 3

Our Houston DWI attorneys find that one of the most confusing facts to citizens is that Texas DWI law does not differentiate between illegal drugs and lawfully prescribed medication. 

Sadly, many citizens get arrested for DWI because they simply followed their doctors’ orders.

In regard to drugs, the term “junk science” is often associated with police scientists and government experts. 

For example, some officers are called “Drug Recognition Experts” (DREs) when they are not experts at all. 

They have some limited training concerning drugs, but their level of knowledge is far from that of an expert. 

The State gave them that title in the hope that a jury would find them more credible; another example concerns government toxicologists.

These pseudo scientists often try to correlate a drug level to a measurement of intoxication, similar to .08 and alcohol measurements. 

Note, however, science tells us people develop tolerance to drugs which after time lose potency. 

That is why a person prescribed depression medication has to change the dosage so often.

Trichter & LeGrand

A typical DWI prosecutor analyzes a case by looking at a cold police officer report that describes a driver’s performance on police motor skill exercise testing, and perhaps, the results of a forensic breath or blood test. 

They utilize a “one size fits all” approach to reviewing intoxication.

Good defense lawyers in Houston recognize the unfairness in a one size fits all approach. 

They know that all people are not alike in their mental and physical abilities. 

It is the good defense lawyer who defends your right not to be average but to be “you.” 

Every citizen has a right to be judged for who they are, to be judged to what is normal for them, and not judged by some fictitious average person.

Accordingly, if you find if you were wrongly arrested because you failed a police physical or breath/blood test, it may not be you that is the problem, but rather, it may be the test!

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Attorneys on-call 24/7. Form Submissions have a fast response time. The use of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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Impaired Driving versus Drunk Driving

impaired driving versus drunk driving
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IMPAIRED DRIVING VERSUS DRUNK DRIVING

Driving While Intoxicated Lawyer At Trichter & LeGrand

Understanding the terms impaired driving versus drunk driving can be difficult since they are virtually synonymous. 

By definition, both actions are essentially the same. 

A person can become drunk by having consumed so much alcohol that normal actions like operating a vehicle become difficult. 

consuming this level of alcohol impairs your normal faculties. 

“Impaired” means to be in a less than perfect or whole condition such as intoxicated by alcohol or narcotics. 

Impaired driving or drunk driving are respectively referred to as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated).

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Defining Impaired Driving versus Drunk Driving

Many states do not distinguish between DUI and DWI. 

The majority of states in the US utilize DUI and DWI interchangeably to refer to driving under the influence of a mind-impairing substance or driving after consuming alcohol in excess or drunk driving. 

Those states see no difference in consuming alcohol or using any other mind-altering substances whether they are prescription drugs, hallucinogens, alcohol or narcotics. 

There is no difference between offenses of minors and adults for many states when an individual is charged with a DUI or DWI.

How Texas punishes impaired driving versus drunk driving

In the state of Texas, the law follows that of the federal government and distinguishes between the two. 

These offenses are classified in two separate penal categories and come with their own set of punishments. 

Whichever the case, consult an experienced DWI Specialist criminal defense attorney to help you and zealously defend you in court.

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Punishment for impaired driving versus drunk driving

A DWI offense in the state of Texas can be found to derive from the use of alcohol and/or drugs while operating a motor vehicle. 

You can also receive a DWI if you are pulled over and have a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher. 

The DWI classification, however, only applies to drivers over the age of 21.

DWI is considered a class B misdemeanor. 

What this means is that there are certain penalties that those who have been charged with the offense are given. 

These penalties can include:

  • a fine not to exceed $3000
  • confinement in jail (it does not matter if it is your first offense) for a term not to exceed 180 days, or both.
  • you can have your license suspended or revoked
  • have to conduct community service or possibly be mandated to attend an education and intervention program.

A DUI is significantly different than a DUI in Texas. 

A DUI in Texas references minors only. 

If a person is under the age of 21 and is discovered to have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system, no matter the amount, they will be given a DUI. 

Most police officers make this distinction when stopping minors suspected of drunk driving.

DUIs are considered class C misdemeanors in Texas. 

By statute, the offense is punishable by:

  • a fine not to exceed $500
  • it may include having your license suspended for up to 2 years
  • mandatory alcohol education programs
  • a possible extension to the suspension period upon failure to complete all the required programs

On the whole, the penalties for DUIs are not as severe as DWI.

Drink responsibly

When it comes to impaired driving versus drunk driving, you should avoid operating a vehicle after consuming any kind of mind-altering substance. 

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident surrounding a DUI or DWI, or have been charged or arrested for DUI or DWI, you will need an aggressive, experience DWI attorney to defend you.

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Attorneys on-call 24/7. Form Submissions have a fast response time. The use of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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What are the penalties for driving with a suspended Texas drivers license?

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What are the penalties for driving with a suspended Texas drivers license?

DWI Lawyer Trichter & LeGrand

Suspended Texas Driver’s License? If you have a suspended Texas drivers license because you declined a chemical test or because you were convicted of DWI, the penalties can vary.

Driving while license suspended (DWLS) is a misdemeanor and:

  • has a punishment range of 3 days to 180 days in jail and/or
  • a fine from $100 to $500.
  • A new offense is committed every time a person drives DWLS
  • Each of these punishments may be probated.

If you have a suspended Houston, Texas drivers license, you may apply for an occupational driver’s license (ODL). 

This type of license is limited in scope and geography (you may drive only in named counties).

To receive an ODL, the driver must show good cause. 

For example, you may need to show you need a license for going to and from work, taking children to and from school, going to and from a religious service, traveling to or from a grocery store, or traveling to or from a medical facility for treatment. 

The courts will also require the installation of an alcohol interlock device on your vehicle.

If your driver license has been suspended because of a DWI or other crime, contact the DWI attorneys at Trichter & LeGrand 24/7 for a free consultation. 

We can help you aggressively fight to get you license back and get your life back on track.

 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

You're Just One Step Away!

Attorneys on-call 24/7. Form Submissions have a fast response time. The use of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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