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What Are the Differences Between DUI and DWI?

If you've been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you may be wondering what the differences are between DUI and DWI. Both offenses involve operating a vehicle while impaired, but there are some key distinctions between the two charges. In this article, we will outline the differences between DUI and DWI and discuss the potential consequences of each offense.


Key Differences Between DUI and DWI

    If you've ever been pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), you might be wondering what the difference is between a DUI and a DWI. In most states, they are both considered criminal offenses, but they do carry different penalties. Here's a breakdown of the key differences between DUI and DWI charges:


    Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is person commits the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol when he or she operates a motor vehicle on a highway or public road while under the influence. Driving While Impaired (DWI) is a person who commits the offense of driving while impaired if he or she drives a vehicle on a highway or public road while impaired or intoxicated.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

    One of the biggest differences between a DUI and DWI is the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit. For most drivers, the legal BAC limit is .08%. However, there are enhanced penalties for drivers with a BAC of .15% or higher. If you are pulled over with a BAC that is above the legal limit, you will likely be charged with a DUI. However, if you are pulled over and your BAC is below the legal limit but you are still showing signs of impairment such as slurred speech, fumbling with your keys, and many more, you may be charged with a DWI.

Process of Appealing

    If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI, you may be wondering if there is any way to fight the charges. In most cases, it is possible to appeal the charges in court. However, it is important to note that the appeals process is different for each type of charge. For a DUI charge, you will need to file a notice of appeal within 30 days of your conviction. For a DWI charge, you will need to file a petition for review within 14 days of your conviction.


    The penalties for a DUI are typically more severe than the penalties for a DWI. If you are convicted of a DUI, you may be facing jail time, license suspension, and expensive fines. The penalties for a DWI are typically less severe, but you may still be facing jail time, license suspension, and costly fines. In some states, you may also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle if you are convicted of a DWI.

Getting Out Of a DUI and DWI Charge

    Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, there may be defenses that can be raised to get out of a DUI or DWI charge. For example, if the police did not have probable cause to pull you over in the first place, then any evidence that was obtained as a result of the stop may be suppressed.

This could potentially lead to the dismissal of your charges. If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can review your case and determine what defenses may be available to you. If you are unable to afford an attorney, you may be able to get a public defender appointed to your case. You can also try to negotiate with the prosecutor assigned to your case for a reduced charge or sentence.


    In some cases, it may be possible to get your DUI or DWI charge expunged from your record. An expungement is a court-ordered process that seals your criminal record so that it is not accessible to the public. The requirements for expungement vary from state to state, but typically you must meet certain conditions such as completing your sentence and completing a drug or alcohol treatment program. If you can get your DUI or DWI charge expunged from your record, it can make it easier to find employment and housing.

    DUI and DWI are two very serious charges that can have long-term consequences on your life. If you've been arrested for one of these offenses, it's important to know the key differences between them so you can make the best decision about how to move forward. The experienced attorneys at our firm are here to help guide you through this difficult time and provide the best possible defense for your case. Call us today.



Do You Need a DUI Lawyer You Can Trust?

With Lynn Gorelick, you don't have to face criminal charges alone. You will receive personal attention to your case. Ms. Gorelick will be the one to appear in court with you from beginning to end. Ms. Gorelick, herself, will be doing your DMV hearings. You will not be handed off to another attorney or associate. You deserve this kind of attention to your needs at this stressful time. Ms. Gorelick has represented people charged with DUI for over 38 years.  She has NEVER been a prosecutor who pursues convictions. She has only DEFENDED people accused of crimes. Contact us today for your consultation!


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