Two terms that frequently come up with impaired driving cases are DUIs and DWIs. While they may seem interchangeable, they are actually two separate things. Here is what you need to know about both of these legal terms.
What Is A DUI and DWI?
A DUI means driving under the influence and refers to someone that is operating a vehicle when influenced by drugs or alcohol. These substances impair a person's ability to operate their vehicle safely, which can cause serious accidents. Every jurisdiction has its own requirements for what is considered a DUI charge,
A DWI stands for driving while intoxicated and is treated a bit differently. It typically refers to drivers that have a higher level of intoxication and is more serious than a DUI. Much like with a DUI, there are different guidelines for what is considered a DWI in different jurisdictions. As a result, a DWI can have more serious consequences for those that violate the law.
What Are The Legal Implications?
Being convicted of a DUI or DWI can have serious legal consequences, which can vary across the country. It's possible to receive a fine, have your license suspended, be on probation, have to perform community service, and in some situations, face potential jail time. It all depends on how serious the violation of the law was and if it was classified as a DUI or DWI.
There is also the long-lasting impact a conviction can have on your insurance rates, driving record, and things of that nature. For example, you could have your auto insurance policy canceled, or be denied a policy in the future. Limitations can be placed on when and where you can drive. It's even possible to be required to use an ignition interlock device, which requires you to test intoxication levels before you can drive your vehicle.
Does Drug Consumption Apply To A DWI?
One thing to understand about a DWI is that it is a more severe offense based on blood alcohol content levels, which is something that can be easily measured to determine the extent of intoxication. This is why a DWI is a classification of a more serious offense.
However, it is difficult to measure how much somebody is under the influence when using drugs, such as marijuana. This is why in many jurisdictions a DWI only applies to intoxication from drinking alcohol, and drug use will fall under a DUI.
For more info, contact a company like Law Offices of Jonathan Steele.