San Antonio DUI Lawyer

Texas has a Zero Tolerance policy for minor drivers under the age of 21. A minor found to be operating a motor vehicle with any detectable alcohol in their system can be cited or arrested for either Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). The ramifications are severe in either case, with administrative penalties and life-long consequences.

What is a DUI in Texas?

DUI is a Class C Misdemeanor in Texas. A minor commits the offense of DUI if they are found to be operating a motor vehicle in a public place while having alcohol in their system. 

  • What is the legal limit for DUI in Texas? The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for DWI is above 0.08. However, for DUI, the legal limit is 0.0. Any detectable amount is too much. Officers often do not request blood or breath specimens, instead of relying on training and experience to determine if alcohol has been ingested.

What are the Penalties for DUI in Texas?

A first-time DUI charge in Texas is a Class C Misdemeanor. The maximum fine is $500.00. A conviction for this offense is permanent and results in a driver’s license suspension. Defendants also face court-ordered drug and alcohol awareness classes, as well as community service, and driving safety courses.

  • How much does a DUI in Texas cost? Up to $1,000.00 in expenses, fines and fees. However, it’s impossible to quantity the potential cost of lost income and opportunity associated with a permanent conviction.
  • How long does DUI stay on your record in Texas? Forever. A conviction for DUI is permanent and cannot be deleted or expunged.
  • Will a DUI affect a background check? Yes. A DUI conviction will show up on background checks and must be disclosed on school admissions applications and job applications.
  • Can you go to jail for DUI? No. Class C Misdemeanors are only punishable by fines and probation in Texas.

What is the Difference Between DWI & DUI in Texas?

DUI is a Class C Misdemeanor that only applies to minors under the age of 21. The legal limit for a DUI charge is 0.0. Minors are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle with any detectable alcohol in their system. 

DWI is a Class B Misdemeanor (unless enhanced). It is legal for an adult to operate a motor vehicle with alcohol in their body, so long as their BAC is under 0.08 at the time of operation. 

  • Can a minor be charged with DWI in Texas? Yes. Though a minor may be charged with DUI in Texas, they can also be prosecuted as an adult if charged with DWI. A first-time DWI charge in Texas is a Class B Misdemeanor (unless enhanced). The maximum fine is $3,000.00, and the maximum jail sentence is 6 months. A conviction for this offense is permanent and results in a driver’s license suspension.
  • Is it worth fighting a DUI or DWI charge in Texas? Yes. It is critical to fight DUI and DWI charges in Texas. The consequences of a conviction for either is expensive and far-reaching. It is critical to do everything possible to protect your rights and preserve your future.


Trey Porter is a dynamic advocate, nationally recognized for his work in DWI Defense. He has been voted by his peers as a best lawyer in the field of Criminal and DWI Defense every year since 2015. Recognized by SuperLawyers, Mr. Porter has also been distinguished as a Top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Porter holds a Superb rating from AVVO, where attorneys are rated based on skillful litigation, client satisfaction, peer endorsements, and positive results. Learn more.

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