Key Difference – DUI vs DWI
Although DUI and DWI are dreaded words as far as driving across the country is concerned, there is a difference between the two words. Before we understand this difference, it is necessary to understand what these terms stand for, and their implications. While DUI stands for Driving under Influence, DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated or Impaired. Both are punishable offenses and can have severe repercussions for the offender. Let us see the implications of both the categories of driving.
What is DUI?
DUI stands for Driving under Influence. Throughout the country, laws vary as to how a person charged with DUI has to be dealt with. In many states, DUI is considered to be a lesser offense than DWI, and whether to book a person with DUI depends upon his breath test to ascertain the level of alcohol in his blood stream. In many instances the charge of DWI is turned into DUI depending upon circumstances such as first offense, showing remorse for accident or suffering for the victim, and also if the level of drug is not dangerously higher than that permissible.
There are also some states that have stopped showing any leniency and do not differentiate between DUI and DWI. If a person’s breath test shows that the alcohol content is higher than permissible level, he is dealt with according to the law in these states.
Not so long ago, DUI stood for driving under the influence of alcohol only, but with drug addiction increasing alarmingly, DUI now covers all cases where the person is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The drugs need not be illegal to be booked under this law. They can be over the counter drugs or prescribed medication also. The severity of the offense is often dependent upon the state you have been driving.
What is DWI?
DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated or Impaired. This is considered as the major offense in comparison to DUI. Similar to DUI, a person can be booked with DWI once a breath test to ascertain the level of alcohol in his bloodstream has been conducted.
In most states, a blood alcohol level of 0.08 has been set as the limit and a person is booked with DUI or DWI if the alcohol level is above 0.08. In New York, a level of .08 is enough to be booked with DWI while alcohol level of 0.07 is considered to be fit for a charge of DUI.
If you live in a state that makes a distinction between DUI and DWI and you are booked under DWI, it is better to consult any competent DUI attorney to bail you out or at least get the charge converted to DUI. In case of DWI, the driving license of the person in impounded, and he faces imprisonment for the duration decided by a jury. In the case of a DUI, however, the judge may be more lenient towards you and set you free with a monetary fine.
The only tool to determine whether to charge you with DWI or DUI is Blood Alcohol Concentration test, also called BAC. If you have more than the permissible limit of alcohol in your blood, you are in trouble and can be booked by the authorities in either of the two categories. Any person charged under DWI or DUI is arrested, and his case comes up for hearing after a few days and he is released on bail to have assistance from an attorney. If it is for the first time that you have been booked, the punishment is likely to be lesser than if it is proved that you are a habitual offender in which case you may have to serve a jail term.
What is the Difference Between DUI and DWI?
Definitions of DUI and DWI:
DUI: DUI stands for Driving under Influence.
DWI: DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated or Impaired.
Characteristics of DUI and DWI:
DUI: DUI is considered the minor in comparison to DWI.
DWI: DWI is considered the major in comparison to DUI.
Alcohol Level in New York:
DUI: Alcohol level of 0.07 is considered to be fit for a charge of DUI.
DWI: In New York, a level of .08 is enough to be booked with DWI.
DUI: In the case of a DUI, the judge may be more lenient towards you and set you free with a monetary fine.
DWI: In case of DWI, the driving license of the person in impounded, and he faces imprisonment for the duration decided by a jury.
1. US Navy 051130-N-7293M-003 U.S. Navy Master-at-Arms 1st Class Robert C. Tempesta places a ^ldquo,Don^rsquo,t Drink and Drive^rdquo, sign in front of a wrecked car outside the front gate of U.S. Naval Base Guam By U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Nathanael T. Miller [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
2. Texas DWI Sign By OpalDivine (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons