San Antonio, TX asked in DUI / DWI for Texas

Q: How does a DWAI conviction in New York affect my Texas driver’s license. Will my Tx license be suspended??

My case is currently being pleaded down to DWAI, in New York, that is a traffic violation w/a BAC of .07. Texas does not have an equivalent. My New York attorney is unable to council me on how it will affect the Texas driving privileges.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Hamilton Rodgers
Michael Hamilton Rodgers
  • DUI & DWI Lawyer
  • Dallas, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: In both New York and Texas, a DWI can mean that the driver is legally intoxicated, with a blood alcohol content of at least 0.08 percent. Under NY law, DWAI means "driving while ability impaired, either by drugs or, in your case, by ingestion of alcohol which results in a BAC (blood alcohol content) of less than 0.08 percent.

You are incorrect when you state that "Texas does not have an equivalent" law. In Texas there a 2 ways in which a driver can be intoxicated. The first is by driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. The second way is for a person to drive while not having the "normal use of their mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol into the body..." meaning driving while impaired (by any amount of alcohol).

Therefore, your DWAI in N.Y. will probably be treated as a DWI conviction by Texas. This will not affect your ability to get a Texas operators license. However, if you are arrested for DWI in Texas, you will likely be charged with DWI-2d, which carries greater penalties than those for a first DWI.

This legal analysis might be successfully challenged in court by a good Texas criminal lawyer, should you be unlucky enough to get arrested for DWI later on here in Texas.

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