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What Is The Difference Between DUI And DWI?

by Antra Kamble
Difference Between DUI And DWI

You must know the difference between DUI and DWI if you are constantly traveling from one place to another. Some people use both these terms interchangeably. But if you look at their full forms, they are not the same! In my today’s article, I will discuss what is the difference between DUI and DWI in detail. Here, I have also listed down the drunk and drugged driving laws. Make sure you do not forget to check out the difference between OUI and OWI along with DUI vs DWI. If you are interested in knowing the difference between DUI and DWI, you can keep on reading further.

Difference Between DUI And DWI

DUI and DWI are some of the highest recorded crimes in the past few years. First, let us understand the definition of DUI and DWI and then move towards the difference between DWI and DUI.

  • DUI stands for driving under the influence.
  • Whereas DWI stands for driving while intoxicated or impaired. 

DUI charges can be imposed on a driver who is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The driver can also lead to trouble even if he is carrying prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs. Some states also impose DWI charges on driver who is driving with a blood alcohol content item over the legal limit. The real difference between DUI and DWI is only determined by the state in which this incident occurred. These two charges are only imposed on the drivers when the officer feels that they were too impaired to drive.

DUI Vs DWI: Consequences

Here, I have listed down some consequences when a DUI or DWI charge is imposed on the individual.

  • The driver’s license can be sneezed or suspended temporarily for at least 60 days.
  • They are instructed to use community service for 20 to 40 hours.
  • A monetary fine of up to $2,000 is imposed on them.
  • You might lose your car insurance.
  • You can also be sent to jail for 3 to 180 days.
  • Sometimes, the drivers are asked to install an ignition interlock device on the steering wheel of their vehicle.
  • Individuals are asked to take in a drug or alcohol treatment program.

However, you can get your driving license back only if you have SR-22 insurance. And depending upon your state laws, this could double or triple your premiums.

You can keep on reading further to know the difference between DUI and DWI by state.

Difference Between DUI And DWI By State

In this section, I have listed down six states that follow DUI or DWI laws.

  • Texas

The difference between DUI and DWI in Texas can be charged on all those who are above 21 years. It is known as one of the most zero-tolerance states. If a minor is found driving by consuming a toxic substance, then they are charged with this DUI or DWI. This state won’t spare anyone who is even below the federal legal limit. Usually, DUI is charged under Texas Traffic Code and DWI is charged under the Texas Penal Code.

Individuals above 21 years who are charged by DWI, may have to face more serious consequences. They are charged with DWI if the BAC is over 0.08% or visibly driving while impaired.

Let us now check out the difference between DUI and DWI in NY.

  • New York

Here, we will the difference between DUI and DWI in New York. In New York, you will find some unique laws specially designed for drinking and driving such as DWAI.  Here, DWAI stands for driving while ability impaired. A DWAI will be imposed if the driver’s BAC is between 0.05 to 0.07% or the driver is impaired. Both these criminal charges can give rise to several problems like jail, fines, or even license revocation.

Do you know what is the difference between DUI and DWI in Minnesota? If no, then let’s find it out in the next section.

  • Minnesota

The difference between DUI and DWI in MN refers to the act of driving while impaired. This charge can be imposed under the consumption of alcohol, prescribed, or hazardous substances. But over here, the BAC must be over the legal limit if you are being charged. In case you refuse to do the BAC test on-site, then you might land in big trouble! You can be charged with criminal and Minnesota DPS administrative penalties.

To know the difference between DUI and DWI in NC, keep on reading further.

  • North Carolina

In North Carolina, the drivers are charged with only one charge that is DWI. The difference between DUI and DWI in North Carolina assigns multiple levels of severity ranging from Aggravated 1 to Level 5. These charges will stay on your record permanently till you legally get rid of them. A DUI charge can be imposed on the individual even if the vehicle is not in motion. Here, a driver can pass the BAC test, but still can be arrested if the driver feels suspicious about you.

Continue reading to understand the difference between DUI and DWI in Missouri.

  • Missouri

You won’t find any legal difference between DWI and DUI in Missouri. But there are a few local laws for impaired driving such as DUID. Here, DUID stands for driving under the influence of drugs. This charge can be only charged if the officer feels the driver is under the influence of drugs.

  • Arkansas

Here, we will discuss the difference between DUI and DWI in Arkansas. Arkansas has set up very unique laws for drunk driving. In this state, the minors can be charged with an underage DWI if their BAC is between 0.02% and 0.08%. This charge is charged mostly on minors and of-age drivers. And if the officer asks you to do a BAC test, then you must not refuse. If you refuse, be ready to face further legal consequences.

  • Florida

After doing research, I have found that there is not much difference between DUI and DWI in Florida. Drinking and driving is a serious crime in Florida. If the breathalyzer test detects blood-alcohol level at 0/15, then you may face harsher penalties under Florida DWI law. A fine of $500 to $1000 will be imposed on you. The fine range may jump above $2000 also. In case the blood-alcohol level is less than 0.05 percent, then their license can be suspended for 6 months.

You can keep on reading further to know the difference between DUI and DWI in Tennessee.

  • Tennessee

In Tennessee, the state follows only one law that is DUI. They do not have any DWI or OUI laws. A DUI criminal charge can be imposed on drivers if they are caught drunk driving. Even if they are 16 to 21 years old, this charge can be registered against them.

Let us now check out the difference between DUI and DWI in NJ.

  • New Jersey

Even New Jersey strictly follows the drunk driving rules. This charge can be imposed if the driver is driving under the influence of alcohol and has a BAC of 0.08 % or more. It is also illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or any other toxic substance. If you are found guilty, a fine of $250 to $1000 can be charged to you. You can also be sent to jail for 30 to 180 days in serious cases. For the first-time drunk driving offense, your license can be suspended for at least 3 months.

  • Oklahoma

Now, let’s discuss the difference between DUI and DWI in Oklahoma. According to the Oklahoma laws, individuals are considered intoxicated if found drunk driving. And if their BAC test result is more than 0.08% or above, then DUI is charged. If the BAC test result is below 0.08%, then DWI is charged. This rule is applied to all drivers who are above 21 years. A fine of up to $1000 can also be charged. In extreme cases, the drivers can be sent to jail for 10 to 365 days. Their driving license can be suspended for at least 6 months.

To know the difference between DUI and DWI in VA keep on reading further.

  • Virginia

After Oklahoma, this is another state that has no difference between DUI Vs DWI. Virginia uses both these criminal charges interchangeably if caught in drunk driving. Here, the individual can be arrested if their BAC level is above the legal limit. Sometimes, the drivers can be charged with DUI or DWI even if the vehicle is not in motion.

DUI Vs DWI: Statistics

These charges are charged for a reason but people don’t understand this. Here, I have collected some interesting facts related to DWI Vs DUI.

  • More than 1 lakh drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
  • Almost 32% of all alcohol-impaired cases are very serious.
  • The drivers aged 25 to 24 years are involved in this crime.

Difference Between OUI And OWI

Other than DUI and DWI, there are some other acronyms used for drunk driving. OUI and OWI are one of them. Here, OUI stands for operating under the influence and OWI stands for operating while intoxicated. The OUI criminal charges are only used in Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. These charges are imposed on individuals even if the vehicle is not running.

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FAQ

Which Is Worse A DUI Or DWI?

Usually, DWI is more serious and worse than DUI. But there are some states who reduce the DWI charge to DUI. This is only possible if the driver is caught for the first time in a drug or alcohol-related offense.

Are DUI And DWI The Same Thing?

No, DUI and DWI are not the same things. Here, DUI means driving under the influence while DWI means driving while intoxicated.

Is A DUI The End Of My Life?

No, a DUI charge cannot end your life. It will not affect your life unless and until the case is resolved in court.

Is There A Difference Between DUI And DWI In Texas?

Yes, there is a difference between DWI and DUI in Texas. Usually, DUI is charged under Texas Traffic Code and DWI is charged under the Texas Penal Code.

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Conclusion

In my above article, we have studied the main difference between DUI and DWI in detail. These are a type of criminal charges that are charged when you are caught in drunk driving. This charge is imposed even if you are drinking a small amount of alcohol. Police officers ask you to do a BAC test. If the test results are above 0.08%, then you are booked under DUI or DWI. In short, the bottom line is that instead of facing these consequences it is best not to drink and drive. Thus, I have included all the points related to the difference between DUI and DWI.

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