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What is the Difference Between Driving While Intoxicated & Driving Under the Influence?
June 20, 2012
Chris M. Alexander
Both DUI and DWI are terms associated with operating a vehicle while intoxicated. There isn’t much difference between them except the letters. While DUI stands for ‘driving under the influence’, DWI stands for ‘driving while intoxicated or impaired’. DWI laws are different in different states of the US; while some states use DWI, others use DUI.
Difference between DWI and DUI
In most states of the US, DUI or DWI are terms that are used interchangeably. But in Texas both refer to two different offenses. In both, a person is driving a motor vehicle in a public place under the influence of alcohol but the targets can be different in each type of offense.
The differences between DWI and DUI are as follows:
- In states where both terms are used for separate offences, DWI stands for ‘driving while intoxicated of alcohol’ while DUI is ‘driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs’.
- If you are convicted of a DWI, the officials should be able to prove that you operated a vehicle while drunk, or were in physical control of a vehicle when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Moreover, they need to prove that your BAC was above the legal limit of 0.08 or more due to alcohol abuse.
- The penalties and the punishment are slightly different for both DUI and DWI if you are arrested and proven guilty.
- You can be charged for DUI if your BAC is below or between .08 and .10. DWI arrests happen if your BAC is above the normal or legal limit of .08 to .10.
- As the states of the United States have established different drunk driving laws, the punishment are different for DWI and DUI. If you are arrested for either one of these, you should be aware of the laws associated with them in your state.
- In Texas, DWI is considered to be a Class B misdemeanor and results in punishment of six months in the county jail and a fine of up to $2,000. However, a DUI is considered to be a Class C misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of a $500 fine and up to 40 hours of community service. However, in the state of Missouri, there is no DUI law but only DWI cases. In some states, DUI is associated with drug abuse and DWI is specific to only alcohol abuse.
Whatever the name, DWI or DUI are both criminal offenses that can lead to severe punishments and penalties. Are there different penalties for DUI and DWI in your state? Do let us know.
Tags: Driving Under the Influence, driving while intoxicated
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Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 at
12:49 am and is filed under
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