Did you know that more than 38,000 people are killed in traffic accidents every year in just the U.S.? A much larger number of motorists are injured. Many of these incidents result from a driver being under the influence of alcohol.
The two charges you often hear from a drunk-driving incident are DUI and DWI but which one is worse, and what is the difference between them? Read on to learn more about these terms and to discover which is worse, DUI or DWI.
What Do DUI and DWI mean?
The abbreviation DUI stands for “Driving under the influence”. This typically refers to a driver being under the influence of alcohol but it also includes drugs. DWI is an abbreviation for “Driving while impaired” or “Driving while intoxicated”. This refers to a driver being impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Which Is Worse, DUI or DWI?
The debate as to which is worse, a DUI or DWI, depends mainly on the jurisdiction where the violation took place. In many states, the answer is not applicable since these terms are interchangeable. Other than the terminology, the legal systems of many states have the exact same penalties for both. Some states use the abbreviation OWI, which stands for “operating while intoxicated.”
In states with different classifications, DWI is considered a worse charge. Certain conditions could allow a reduction of a DWI to a DUI.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI or DWI?
The penalties for a DUI or DWI vary by state. In general, most states have the following penalties for someone convicted:
- Minimum jail time
- A fine
- Suspension of license
- An interlocking device placed on the car’s ignition
The extent of these penalties varies greatly by state. Some require just a few days, while there are a few states that have sentences of more than a year. States also have escalating penalties for the first, second, and third offenses.
What Results In a DUI or DWI?
Every state uses a 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC) as the limit for being legally drunk. However, many states have a zero-tolerance policy, which means that anything over 0.00 is a violation. Most states also have an enhanced penalty BAC level that results in a longer jail sentence or stiffer fine.
What Should You Do When Facing a DUI or DWI Charge?
If you find yourself in the position of facing a DUI or DWI, you need a DWI lawyer. Like many types of law, there are attorneys who specialize in these cases. By searching DWI attorney near me, you can find experienced professionals who can help you.
Be Knowledgeable about DUIs and DWIs
The answer to which is worse, DUI or DWI, is really not applicable in most states. Regardless, this is a serious charge with penalties. Should you find yourself in this position, you must find the right attorney.
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