Driving while drunk is never a good idea, not only because you are endangering the lives of individuals in the car but also because it is an illegal act. The majority of people will have heard the legal terms DUI or DWI and would have considered these synonyms for drunk driving; however, this is not entirely true. It is important to understand the different between a DUI and DWI to understand the charge should you find yourself committing either of these crimes. This article will provide a guide to the different terms.
While both DUI and DWI refer to driving a vehicle while alcohol or drugs impair one’s abilities, the difference is that DUI is a contraction of driving under the influence and DWI is a contraction of driving with intoxicated. Despite sounding similar, they are often classified as separate crimes based on the jurisdiction. Each state has a different classification of the crime. If arrested in the state of New Jersey, you will attempt to find New Jersey DWI websites for experienced attorneys, while in the state of Pennsylvania, you would search for DUI lawyers.
If an offense is committed in a jurisdiction where DUI and DWI are separate crimes, DUI is noted as the less serious charge and indicates a reduced degree of impairment as compared to a person charged with DWI. To determine the level of impairment, the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is measured at the time of arrest using a blood alcohol calculator. The typical limit of BAC is 0.08% in the US; however, the limit does differ for younger drivers according to the jurisdiction.
The sentences of a DUI are dependent on the driver’s BAC score, but the most common sentence is a large fine with driver’s license suspension. If the driver is charged with a DWI, the sentence could include imprisonment, driver’s license revocation, community service, substance abuse treatment programs and house arrest. In some cases, it is possible for the individual to argue for a plea bargain for the serious charge of DWI to be changed to the reduced DUI. However, various conditions must be met for this to be considered, such the BAC not being excessively above state limit and the offense being a first offense.
While this article discusses the definition of DWI and DUI referring to driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs; it should be noted that certain states in the US use DUI to refer to a driver under the influence of drugs exclusively. This can complicate matters as DUI is note available as a reduced act with less severe sentences. To ensure you’re not faced with any of these conditions, it is best not to drive under the influence of substances in any situation.
Often times, when arrested for driving impaired, you will have to enter a rehabilitation class to obtain driving privileges once again. In matter dealing with impaired driving on drugs, you will find yourself in some form of drug rehabilitation facility before being able to operate a motor vehicle once again.
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