What’s the difference between DUI vs DWI? There is a difference between DUI and DWI, believe it or not. Both of these drunk driving offenses have very different penalties. You should not drink and drive and avoid being charged with one. However, it is important to be able to tell the difference if you are ever arrested for one of these offenses. This will allow you to get the best possible legal defense and ensure you are aware of your rights throughout the entire process.
Every state in the United States treats DUI and DWI separately, except New Jersey and Virginia. Driving under the influence is also known as DUI. This offense is less serious than DWI, but it carries a lower penalty. A DUI can be considered a civil offense in some instances, especially for those younger than 21. However, it is often prosecuted as an offense. A DUI can be considered a misdemeanor unless you have been involved in an accident while driving under the influence, or have had more than one conviction. You will usually be sent to jail or fined, with a requirement for community service. Probation is possible, but not always for the entire duration of the community work.
DWI can also be known as Driving while intoxicated. This is a more serious offense. This offense can be prosecuted civilly if the victim is under 21 years old. It usually includes a fine and suspension of driver’s license. You may also face a sentence of up to six months in jail. For anyone over 21 years old, it is always treated as a criminal case. The severity of the intoxication as determined by the sobriety tests will determine the amount of jail time and fines. A person who has received multiple DWI convictions will be more likely to end up in jail for a long time or even permanently suspending or revocation their driver’s license. In a DUI case, suspension of driver’s license and community service are unlikely.