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Understanding DWI and DUI in Texas

Texas Attorneys for Intoxicated Driving and Traffic Offenses

Serving San Antonio and Surrounding Counties.

Texas law allows driving while intoxicated (DWI) to be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Which one you'll be charged with varies according to whether there was an accident, how serious that accident was, prior DWIs or DUIs, whether you had a child passenger and other circumstances.

Serious Breathalyzer Flaws

Prosecutors rarely use a blood test in intoxicated-driving cases. Instead, they usually rely on a breath test, often called a breathalyzer. If the results of a breath test are the main evidence in your case, there's a good chance that an expert DWI defense lawyer can find problems with its accuracy.

Most of us trust that the breath tests law enforcement uses to find intoxicated drivers must be accurate -- or else they wouldn't be used to arrest and convict people. Unfortunately, science has shown that breath tests are actually quite unreliable. Breathalyzer tests make a lot of assumptions about the individuals being tested, the conditions around them and the people operating the tests. If you can show those assumptions are wrong, don't plead guilty just to get the case over with. Take it to an experienced San Antonio DWI attorneys like Carabin Shaw and let them find ways to reduce or eliminate your drunk driving charge.

Facing a DWI or DUI in Texas?

The most common intoxicated-driving charge in Texas is driving while intoxicated (DWI), although minors under 21 may be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). These charges are sometimes called operating under the influence (OUI) or operating while intoxicated (OWI). They can carry very serious criminal penalties and secondary effects, including:

  • Fines of up to $2,000 just for the first offense
  • Probation, jail time or prison
  • Community service
  • Testing and possible alcohol education classes
  • Driver's license suspension or revocation
  • Attending a MADD Victim Impact panel
  • Alcohol assessment and possible treatment
  • Seizure or impoundment of your car or truck
  • Skyrocketing auto insurance payments or cancellation of your policy
  • A permanent criminal record
  • Restitution to accident victims not covered by insurance
  • In some cases, a breathalyzer on your ignition
  • In some cases, restrictions on your ability to move, change jobs or drink legally

If you've been arrested for DWI or other alcohol- or driving-related offenses, such as driving with an open container, speeding or intoxication assault, you should contact Carabin Shaw as soon as possible. Because they’ve practiced DWI and other criminal defense law in Texas, they understand Texas laws and how law enforcement uses them. Our firm knows how to raise effective challenges to the original traffic stop, field sobriety tests, and preliminary breath test (PBT) results, breath test results and blood alcohol test results. We also handle license suspension hearings, occupational driver's license (ODL), Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearings and Texas Department of Public Safety hearings.


The DWI charge in Texas may be called DUI, or driving under the influence, in other states. In Texas, DUI is a charge for minors arrested while driving with any amount of alcohol in their bodies. Read our DUI page to learn more about DUI in Texas.

Carabin Shaw offers our clients:

  • A record of acquittals and other successful defenses going back more than two decades.
  • Help with bail bonds and emergency hearings seven days a week and 24 hours a day.
  • No-cost, obligation-free case evaluation meetings.
  • Individualized service from a seasoned defense attorney who's also a lifelong San Antonian.

Never plead guilty to a DWI or DUI without understanding your rights and your case. Call Carabin Shaw today for help from a vigorous and experienced defense lawyer.

Contact Carabin Shaw today for experienced representation in driving while intoxicated (DWI) legal matters. Your first consultation is free, so send us an email or call us at 210-222-2288.

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We are very glad we called Carabin Shaw after our accident. We now recommend them to everyone. - Griselda S.
You want Carabin Shaw on your side after an accident. They were excellent. - Valerie S.
In our opinion, no one is better, Carabin Shaw is the Law Firm you want on your side after an accident. - Amanda G.
The attorneys and staff went out of their way to help us after our accident. Thank you Carabin Shaw. - Melinda F.
We did our research after our accident and chose Carabin Shaw. They were great. Highly recommend. Joel Y.