Thousands of people are arrested for drunk driving every year. It is among the most common yet serious offenses in the United States. But even knowing how serious drinking and driving is, many drivers decide to take the risk anyway.
Before taking the road, drivers should know what the penalties are for a DWI or DUI. Depending on what state you are in, there can be a difference between these two charges and the penalties you face may also vary.
Keep reading below to learn what is a DWI vs DUI.
What is a DWI vs DUI?
DWI and DUI are both acronyms related to driving while under the consequence of alcohol or drugs.
DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)
It typically refers to “Driving While Intoxicated” or “Driving While Impaired”. It is commonly used in some states in the United States. This offense implies that the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle is impaired due to alcohol or drugs.
In some states, DWI may be used to refer to cases where alcohol or drugs have led to severe impairment.
DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
Driving under the influence is a broader term that surrounds both alcohol and drugs, including illegal substances and prescription medications. This term implies that the driver is operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In some states, the level of impairment necessary for a DUI charge may be less severe compared to a DWI.
Terminology by Jurisdiction
The use of DWI or DUI can vary depending on the state or country. Some jurisdictions exclusively use DWI. Some exclusively use DUI. Others use both terms for different levels of impairment.
Severity of Offense
In some jurisdictions, DWI may be considered a more serious offense compared to DUI, with harsher penalties for DWI convictions due to higher levels of intoxication.
In other places, DWI and DUI may be used interchangeably, and the penalties could be the same for both.
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
DWI might be charged when a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds a specific legal limit, often 0.08% in the United States. DUI, on the other hand, may apply to cases where the driver’s BAC is below the legal limit but still affects their ability to operate a vehicle safely.
Penalties for DWI and DUI can vary significantly. Typical consequences can include fines, license suspension or revocation, and probation. Additionally, community service, mandatory alcohol or drug education programs, and even jail time for more severe cases.
You can visit this homepage if you have been charged with a DUI or DWI. It is imperative to hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A DUI attorney in Waukegan can help ensure that your rights are being protected and your interests are represented.
Distinguishing the Difference: DWI vs. DUI
What Is a DWI vs DUI? Overall, DWI and DUI have similar legal implications but represent differently-treated events. DWI is a more serious criminal offense. DUI is a less serious traffic violation.
It’s important to understand the differences if you face either an arrest or a conviction. If you have been charged with either DWI or DUI, don’t hesitate to consult with a knowledgeable attorney.
Did you find this blog post helpful? Check out the rest of our site to learn more!
Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Travel, health, shopping, lifestyle and business are among the many subjects she writes about. Through quality and well-researched writing, she informs and even entertains readers about things that matter. She is also interested in film critiquing and filmmaking. Giving all the glory to God, Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.