Every state has different laws for driving impaired while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The use of DUI and DWI varies by state. Many states have strict laws for both DUI and DWI. In either case, getting charged is a serious offense. In some states a DUI vs DWI carries a higher charge.
DUI stands for driving under the influence. DWI stands for driving while impaired or driving while intoxicated. All of these terms are related to driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
The difference between DUI and DWI is vague.
Some states use DWI (driving while impaired) to charge people that may be under the influence of prescription drugs. This usually carries a lesser penalty than being charged with driving under the influence.
In many states, if an officer determines a person has been drinking alcohol, the person will be charged with a DUI. However, if the police officer determines the person has not been drinking, but may be under the influence of a drug, the officer may charge the person with a DWI.
The majority of states will use one designation or the other. Many use both, such as the state of New York. In New York, if drive has a blood alcohol level of . 08 he or she may be charged with a DWI. If the blood alcohol level is . 07 the driver may be charged with a DUI. In the state of New York, the DUI is the lesser charge.
Since every state has its own DUI or DWI laws, the use of these terms create confusion. If you are charged with a DUI or DWI, your first step should be to seek the advice of an attorney. In either case, the charges are serious and may carry jail time, significant fines, and suspension of your driver’s license.
In addition, either charge may result in an increase in your car insurance rates. In some cases, it may lead to the cancellation of your policy.
In many states, if you are convicted of a DUI or DWI, it will remain on your record for 20 plus years depending on the state. For example, a DUI conviction in Florida will remain on your record for 75 years. This can make it difficult to find a job, as many employers will do a background check.
Whether you are charged with a DUI or DWI, it will be a life-changing event if you are convicted. The best thing you can do if you are charged is to hire an attorney. While you may think hiring an attorney is expensive, the cost will be minimal compared to the fines you may have to pay if you are convicted. In addition, you may have to spend time in jail if you are convicted.