Skip to content

What is the difference between DWI and DUI?

What is the difference between DWI and DUI

What is the difference between DWI and DUI?

They are driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) in some states are separate crimes.

Generally, DWI is a more serious crime, as it involves a person who is under a high amount of intoxication. At the same time, DUI usually refers to a person driving with a moderate amount of intoxication.

Another approach is to separate these crimes by a procedure used to convict someone. For example, sometimes, DWI is used to refer to a “per se” statutory test. A per se law states that if a person is driving and the test shows a blood alcohol level of .08, he is automatically guilty.

A DUI could refer to a “presumptive” test. A presumptive law provides that if a person is driving tests for a blood alcohol content of .08, he is presumed to be intoxicated. Based on this test, the defendant can present evidence that neutralizes that presumption (for example, he may have tested a .08, but his timing was so good that it showed he was not intoxicated). However, in Virginia, there is no distinction between DUI and DWI.

DUI is the charge that applies to someone who drives under alcohol or other drugs. Depending on the state, this offense may be known as driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), or a similar term.

What is the meaning of DUI?

If you drive while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, you will most likely face the consequences of a DUI, such as fines, penalties, or jail time. But what is a DUI? Continue reading, and we will explain it to you soon.

DUI stands for “driving under the influence.” It is an acronym used in cases of driving motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol or any other drug.

In all US states, it is a crime for a motorist to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, including prescription drugs. If you are convicted of a DUI, you will receive some criminal sentence (such as community service, a fine, or even jail time). Depending on the severity, your driver’s license will likely be suspended or revoked. Therefore, we recommend hiring the services of a DUI specialist lawyer if you have been accused of this crime.

What is the difference between DWI and DUI?

Many people are unaware of the difference between DWI and DUI; Although the latter term is better known, DWI is also a widespread crime in the United States.

This time at The Cruz Law Office, APC, we want to explain the differences between these terms so that you can understand the consequences that can come with being detained under the influence of these states.

Driving while under a higher degree of intoxication is known as DWI; This crime is one of the most serious since it is considered that the person who drives with an alcohol level of .08 or higher is automatically guilty.

A DUI or DWI can similarly harm your driving record, but their meanings are not the same. In many cases, there is a difference between DUI and DWI.

DUI refers to driving under the influence, while DWI refers to driving while intoxicated. In some US states, DUI may be the same as DWI, while the two terms may be different in other states.

In either case, you should avoid having those three letters appear on your driving record.

The meaning of DUI and DWI

DUI stands for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The drugs or medications can be over-the-counter, prescription, or illegal. On the other hand, DWI stands for driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired. However, the precise definitions depend on the state you are in.

Depending on your state, you may be charged with operating under the influence (OUI), using while intoxicated (OWI), or driving while impaired (driving while ability impaired DWAI) instead of DUI or DWI.

When it comes to driving while intoxicated, it may be illegal in your state to get behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08%, except in Utah, where the BAC limit is 0.05%.

Driving while intoxicated is generally considered a misdemeanor, but repeat offenders can face felony charges. And in some states, penalties can increase if your BAC is at least 0.15%. The BAC is usually determined with a breath, blood, or urine test.

IMPORTANT: In many states, you can be charged with driving while intoxicated if you are in the driver’s seat, but your car is not moving. In some cases, you could even be charged with DUI, DWI, or a similar crime if you are operating a boat, moped, motorized scooter, bicycle, or lawnmower.

Call (619)717 2233 today for a free legal consultation.

Therefore, when the tests are carried out and a degree more significant than that allowed is demonstrated, then it is determined that the crime is essential. It is necessary to give a higher sentence than those usually ruled, even more so if the person involved was responsible for an accident while driving.

Instead, the DUI states that it can be ruled if the person only has a moderate degree of intoxication. In this case, the DUI could refer to a presumptive test; it is presumed that the individual was driving with a blood alcohol content of .08; however, this status can only be assumed since the defendant may have passed the coordination test without showing signs of intoxication.

How serious is a DUI?

Typically, DUI cases are handled in state superior court, and each state has its own DUI laws. In most jurisdictions, getting a first DUI will be a misdemeanor, but it will depend on the case. Getting a first DUI could be upgraded to a felony if a drunk driver injures someone or if the driver is determined to be reckless beyond their drunken status.

The DUI will generally be considered a felony when there are serious injuries. If someone is killed in an accident where the culprit was driving while intoxicated, this driver will be charged with felony vehicular manslaughter.

A DUI can also be considered a felony when the driver already has multiple DUIs. It will vary by state law but is generally taken as a felony, starting with the fourth DUI. Instead, it is considered a felony from the second or third DUI in some states.

The amount or level of alcohol in the blood also plays a role in determining whether a DUI is a felony. If the blood alcohol level is well above the permitted level, it can be considered as evidence of negligence.

You may be wondering what the difference is between considering a DUI a misdemeanor or a felony. The main difference is that, usually, the misdemeanor can be punished with up to one year in prison. Instead, a felony is punishable for a year or more in jail.

Different penalties depending on the state

In different states of the country, this division of terms does not exist; for example, there is no difference between DUI and DWI in Virginia. In Texas, on the other hand, DWI is a crime that can lead to at least 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

The DWI usually carries a much more severe penalty than the DUI. Still, to establish this conviction, it must show that the defendant lost his mental or physical faculties due to the degree of alcohol in the blood. And the IUD is a crime that people commit if their blood alcohol level does not exceed .08 degrees.

Knowing the differences between these terms, At The Cruz Law Office, APC, we are committed to helping you with any problem you need to face. Therefore, it is necessary that, if you find yourself in a situation like this, it is better that you call a specialized and qualified lawyer for your defense.

Our law firm has the best professionals in this field; who will help you throughout the process and who will help and represent you before the court.

So remember that first of all, breathalyzer test and even any question regarding the subject that the officer asks you. You can (politely) refuse, at that moment, where you should call The Cruz Law Office, APC; by phone (619) 7172233 and request the assistance of one of our lawyers there at the scene and before submitting to any test or answering any questions.

How does California treat an out-of-state DWI conviction?

Although California uses the term “DUI” instead of DWI, drivers who have DWI convictions from other states or similar impaired driving convictions may face additional penalties if charged with a subsequent offense in California. California prosecutors will pull the defendant’s criminal record from a national database. Any DWI or similar convictions involving impaired driving that occurred within the previous ten years can be charged against the defendant as a record in the current case. The prosecution will have to prove the prior conviction, usually done with a certified court record.

If the other state’s DUI statute is not comparable to California’s, the defense may obtain an indictment for the affected prior offense. If the defendant is convicted of DUI and there are prior convictions, they would face mandatory jail sentences, a longer drug and alcohol education class, higher fines, and a minimum one-year driver’s license suspension.

Friends, If a defendant is charged with four DUIs within ten years, the fourth may be charged as a felony, and the defendant may be sentenced to prison.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI offense and you want to learn more about the differences between DUI and DWI, you must consult with a DUI attorney as soon as possible. As a former prosecutor with over 14 years of experience, Michael Kraut is highly respected for his in-depth DUI law knowledge and courtroom litigation skills.

Attorney for DWI Charges in Houston

Both drunk driving and drugged driving acts have various acronyms in court. You may have heard these crimes referred to as DWI, DUI, OWI, and OUI. But it is essential to know that the legal differences between a DUI and a DWI vary from state to state. Read on to learn the difference between driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) in North Carolina.

DWI is an acronym for the English phrase, Driving While Impaired. This phrase translates in Spanish, too, driving while intoxicated.

DUI is another English acronym for the phrase, Driving Under the Influence. This phrase translates to driving under the influence.

Regardless of the acronym, being convicted of a DUI or DWI indicates that the driver was operating a motor vehicle while impaired by a debilitating substance. Some legal phrases suggest that this substance doesn’t need to be alcohol.

It is entirely possible to be arrested for DUI/DWI while under the influence of a debilitating substance other than alcohol. It includes, but is not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, and prescription drugs. Driving Under the Influence consists of any sense that a person may consume that impairs their driving ability. Contact an experienced DUI/DWI attorney.

What happens if I have 2 DUIs?

The same consequences depend on your state, but with second and subsequent DUIs, the maximum jail time could be longer. So your mandatory minimum jail sentence would be longer than the first offense. For example, in Colorado, the minimum jail time is five days for the first offense, 10 days for the second DUI, and 60 days for the third. But the maximum jail time for a first, second, and third DUI in Colorado is one year, the same for all three offenses.

Consequences of drunk driving in the United States

As with any criminal charge, a person charged with “driving under the influence” is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If guilt is established (often through the defendant’s plea or after a jury trial), the penalty will depend on state law and any aggravating circumstances (such as accidents and injuries).

Although the penalties depend on where the offense occurs, consequences you may face for DUI include:

  • purposes
  • Driver’s license/driving record issues
  • Alternative punishments such as completing substance abuse education and prevention programs
  • Suspension of the auto insurance policy or drastic increase in the price of the policy
  • Difficulty finding employment
  • deportation

If you are involved in this type of crime, it is best to speak with a DUI attorney in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred. If it’s a first-time incident, an attorney specializing in this type of crime can usually help you obtain driving privileges if you use an ignition interlock device (IDD). He can also apply to the court for permission for you to drive to and from work.

Can you be arrested for being an accessory to a DWI?

It also recognizes the crime of being an accessory to a DUI or DWI. If you give your keys to a person you see to be drunk and they drive, you can face a DWI charge on the grounds of being an accessory. While this offense always receives the lighter sentence of level 5, it does not change that it is a DWI conviction and brings all the penalties for a level 5 sentence.

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence

There are several levels of sentencing for a DWI conviction. But, one thing is guaranteed; if you are convicted of DWI, you will lose your driver’s license. The severity of the consequences for a DWI will depend on your age, the number of offenses, and your class of license.

Penalties for a DWI include:

  1. fines
  2. license suspension
  3. License Revocation
  4. jail time
  5. Community service
  6. Increase in car insurance rates

This list does not include attorney fees or court costs. You may also be required by the court to attend alcohol abuse classes or complete a substance abuse assessment. And finally, the administrative sanctions imposed by the Department of Transportation cannot forget.

DWI with a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance

You can also be convicted of a DWI if you have any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance in your blood. The state doesn’t even have to prove that you were impaired while driving. Schedule I controlled substances include opiates, codeine methyl bromide, heroin, and morphine. Also on this list are hallucinogens like MDA, MDE, and MDEA. If they find any of these substances in your blood, the state may be able to convict you without showing that you were debilitated.

Speak to an Experienced Drunk Driving Defense Attorney Today

This article is intended to be helpful and informative, but legal matters can be complicated and stressful. A qualified drunk driving defense attorney can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now, and contact a local drunk driving defense attorney to discuss your particular legal situation.

So people use these terms interchangeably, but really in Texas, they are very different. DWI is the acronym for “Driving While Intoxicated.” While DUI stands for “Driving Under the Influence.”

Which charge is worse?

DWI is much worse than DUI. In the case of DWI, the state has to prove intoxication, which is a high standard. They have to show that you had a blood alcohol concentration greater than 0.08 or that you had lost the regular use of your mental or physical faculties.

By contrast, in a DUI, all the state has to prove is that someone under 21 had a detectable amount of alcohol in her system. The idea here is that people under the age of 21 are not supposed to drink alcohol. So even one sip of alcohol and then getting behind the wheel can get you found guilty of DUI.

What are the differences in punishment?

So in Texas, a DWI, even for a first-time offender, can result in up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. While on a DUI, the state has limitations on your punishment options. The maximum punishment is a $500 fine, a few hours of community service, maybe an alcohol awareness class, but no jail time.

What should I do if I have been charged?

So if you find yourself in a situation where you have been arrested or charged with driving while intoxicated, do not hesitate to call our office. We have a lot of experience, and we have a former DWI prosecutor. We have helped hundreds if not thousands of people in similar situations.

Recent Posts

What is the difference between DWI and DUI?

Programs for First Time Homebuyers in Colorado

Tax Tips for Resident and Nonresident Aliens

Naruto’s death: when and how he dies in the manga and anime

How do I fix message blocking on Android?

Leave a Reply