Ellis County DWI Lawyer

Know your rights…

If you have been charged with a DWI or a DUI in Ellis County Texas, it is important to know your rights and also know the clock is ticking for an Automatic License Renewal hearing with the Department of Public Safety.  A DWI/ DUI actually creates two cases in Texas.  The first case is with Ellis County itself, and the second case is the DPS.  These are two different systems of courts and judges.  For an ALR hearing, you have less than 15 days from the time of your arrest to request a hearing.  Failure to comply with certain dates and order could result in losing your license or even your freedom.  Your attorney may even recommend immediate testing by an approved agency.  It is important to seek legal aid and advice immediately.


The difference between a DUI and a DWI in Texas is important to understand, as the penalties and potential consequences can vary. In Texas, both a DUI and a DWI refer to an individual operating a vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, which means they lack the normal use of mental or physical faculties due to the use of alcohol or drugs.

“DUI” stands for “driving under the influence,” while “DWI” means “driving while intoxicated.” While “DWI” is the legal definition of this crime in Texas, “DUI” is commonly used interchangeably though incorrectly.

For individuals who are 21 years of age or older, a DWI charge can be given if they operate a vehicle while legally intoxicated, which is defined as having a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater, or being impaired by drugs.

On the other hand, if a person under the age of 21 is pulled over and has ANY alcohol in their system, they can be charged with a “DUI” or “DUIA” (Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol). This is the only officially legal use of the term “DUI” in Texas.

It is important to note that Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21. Regardless of whether the minor is impaired by the alcohol in their system, it is illegal for them to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol. This means even something as simple as cologne, hair products or mouthwash could set off a detectable amount of alcohol on a breathalyzer and result in a DUI charge. However, if a driver under 21 has a BAC of .08 or greater or was driving under the influence of drugs, they can still be charged with a DWI.

In terms of severity, a DWI is considered a more serious crime in Texas. While DUIs are only charged to those under 21 under the Texas Traffic Code, a DWI is charged under the Texas Penal Code, making it a more significant offense. The penalties for a DWI can range from heavy fines to time in jail or prison.

It is important to take both charges seriously, but the consequences of a DWI are generally more severe than those of a DUI. Understanding the difference between a DUI and a DWI in Texas can help individuals make informed decisions and take appropriate actions to avoid legal trouble.

Alcohol Testing

Some drugs and alcohol can quickly metabolize out of your system.  Though alcohol is almost always completely eliminated from the bloodstream in 12-24 hours, it is still possible to have an ETG test.  ETG testing can potentially go back as far as 90 hours.  Having an independent certified lab test in hand could be crucial in your defense.  Additionally, if you provided a blood sample to the authorities you may want them to test for more than just alcohol (for instance, being drugged).  If you do not file papers requesting this quickly, you have a good chance the sample will have been destroyed shortly after initial testing.  Most drugs can metabolize out of your system and test will show negative by the time you are released from jail – therefore it is important to have legal representation to protect your rights and freedom.

What is ETG testing?

ETG stands for ethyl glucuronide.  When your body metabolizes alcohol it creates a by-product called ETG that can be found in your urine.  Though ETG can be natural, elevated levels are created by light to heavy drinking.  Results will vary by how heavy the drinking was and though not 100%, it can be decently accurate between 2-5 days as an indicator of light to heavy drinking.

    Any and all testing should be done by a court approved lab under direction from your criminal attorney so as to preserve attorney – client privilege.   A judge may even order you to take an ETG test at a local lab.
    Finally, ETG testing can also be done through hair testing which can indicate consumption levels between 3 and 6 months (this includes abstinence as well as consumption).  Like all testing procedures there are several things which can cause false positives.  Daily care routines, hair treatments like bleaching, gels, perms, etcetera can cause false positives.  Whereas urine tests extend to almost 5 days, blood tests can potentially stretch to 30 days and hair testing to 180 days.  A combination of testing methods within the proper timeframe will result in the most solid snapshot of actual usage.
    ETG tests are often used in not only criminal law but also often ordered by judges during family law cases when alcohol abuse is alleged. 
    It is important to hire an Ellis County DWI lawyer as soon as possible after arrest.  It is important for DPS ALR hearings to keep your license.  Also, an Ellis County attorney can recommend if you should be retested and what type of test to take immediately following your release.  The results could mean the difference between receiving a misdemeanor or worse a DWI felony or possibly remaining free with all of your rights intact.

Contact our Ellis County Criminal Lawyer firm today.


Picture of an Ellis County Sheriff SUV to take criminals to jail who need lawyers

Time is of the essence…

If you were arrested for a DWI you only have 15 days to request a hearing for ALR – automatic license renewal.  If you do not request a hearing in time or do not show up prepared, your license could be suspended.

Likewise other crimes have important factors that are time sensitive.  It may be important to have you tested at a court approved lab for drugs or other substances because drugs will metabolize out of your system very quickly and there is only a small window of time left to test.

And for other crimes still it can be important to get witness testimonies or affidavits before the details start to blur or fade or before other parties obtain lawyers and stop talking.

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