What's the difference between DUI and DWI?


The difference between DUI and DWI...


Different states call it different things. There used to be a much clearer distinction between the two terms years ago when BAL (Blood Alcohol Level) defined the terms. For example, When the legal limit went from .10 to .08 in Michigan the state changed the terms from DUI to DWI. DWI is an acronym for driving while intoxicated. DUI is an acronym for driving under the influence. Depending on individual state laws, the two terms are both used to describe impairment or drunken driving, or drinking while driving.


Some people are under the impression that DWI is being legally intoxicated, while DUI meant you could be under the legal limit, but still impaired. Some states use the term DWI and associate it with the use of alcohol only, and use the term DUI when the person is charge while operating a vehicle while under the influence of a drug, not alcohol. Some states also view a DWI or DUI as a criminal offense, while others still see it as a traffic violation.


Each state has its own legal definition for DUI and DWI. A citation for DWI denotes Driving While Intoxicated (again, intoxicated by what is open to interpretation by each state). The arresting officer may determine either DUI or DWI. States do not agree on the definition of DUI or DWI. Those who are cited for either need to seek the services of a lawyer unless they are prepared to plead guilty to either offense. The key word is attorney. Legal representation is paramount in defending a DUI or DWI charge.


There is also a plethora of other legal terms associated with this issue that are essentially the same thing but differ state by state. There are more acronyms like: DAI, Driving After Imbibing, OWI, Operating While Intoxicated, OWVI, Operating While Visibly Impaired, OVI, Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated, OWPD, Operating With the Presence of Drugs, and other common related terms like BAC, Blood Alcohol Content, and BAT, Blood Alcohol Testing.


State laws vary so much about drinking and driving that you have to investigate the laws and verbiage on a state level. There is no consistent law in America about DUI, DWI, OWI, or which ever term your state adopts. But beware! Every policeman is instructed to be BOL, Be On the Lookout in regards to this issue.



DWI and DUI attorneys


    2012 Law Firm Lawyer.org all rights reserved. www.lawfirmlawyer.org Site Map