Differences between Reckless Driving and DWI

Reckless driving and DWI are both serious crimes in the State of Texas, and a conviction for either offense could subject you to harsh penalties, including fines and jail time. Of the two charges, driving while under the influence – or DWI – is arguably the most serious and could also result in a loss of driving privileges for a specified period of time.

If you have been charged with reckless driving or DWI, Denton criminal defense lawyer Brent D. Bowen, Attorney at Law is ready to assist you with defending your case. In some instances, asserting a strong legal defense at trial is your best bet, while at other times, it makes more sense to try and work out a favorable deal with the state prosecutor who is handling your case. In any event, Attorney Brent D. Bowen can lay out all of your legal options and help you decide on the best option for your case.

Defining Reckless Driving

In a nutshell, reckless driving in the State of Texas refers to “wanton or willful disregard” for the safety of another person’s property or some other person. An individual could be charged with reckless driving where he or she ignores other drivers’ safety while operating a motor vehicle on the road, or while engaging in some form of careless, reckless, or dangerous driving. Some common examples of reckless driving include the following:

  • Grossly exceeding the posted speed limit on the roadway
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way at a traffic light or stop sign to another motor vehicle operator
  • Talking with someone else using a non-hands-free mobile device while driving
  • Failing to properly use a turn signal while operating a vehicle on the road
  • Failing to maintain proper and reasonable control over the vehicle which the accused is driving

In cases where a driver is merely negligent but is not “willfully” negligent, the accused could raise that as a defense to a reckless driving charge, depending upon the circumstances. A conviction for reckless driving could lead to a maximum $200 fine, along with a maximum of 30 days’ incarceration.

DWIs in Texas

In the State of Texas, a person could be charged with DWI/DWI if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher – or if the accused operates a motor vehicle while he or she is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. More stringent standards apply for minors.

Potential penalties upon conviction depend largely upon the driver’s BAC at the time of arrest (as well as any history of prior DWI arrests and convictions) and could include jail time, fines, and loss of license. The driver might also be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on his or her vehicle.

Call a Denton Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Brent D. Bowen, Attorney at Law, can work to defend you against your reckless driving or pending DWI/DWI charge. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with an experienced Denton criminal defense attorney, please call us today at (940) 222-2488, or contact us online for more information.