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Understanding the Difference Between DWI and DUI

DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence, while DWI is the acronym of Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Impaired. Regardless of the term used, both DUI and DWI refer to a driver who is either intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs, and this also applies to driving under prescription drugs that can impair driving abilities. State laws differ so both terms may mean the same or differently basing on the jurisdiction, wherein both terms can be used to describe a driver who is impaired or drunk driving, and some state laws regard the offense drunk driving as DUI and others call it DWI.

A driver still faces DUI or DWI even if he meets the blood alcohol concentration levels for legal intoxication in some jurisdictions. An arresting officer has every reason to believe that a driver is too impaired or drunk driving even if a driver meets the legal alcohol concentrations levels of 0.08, and may still be charged with driving while impaired. Even if your breath analyzer indicated that you’re not under the influence of alcohol, the arresting officer can call a Drug Recognition Expert to come into the scene in order to determine if you’re under the influence of drugs. The first thing that will happen to you if ever if got arrested for a suspicion of drunk driving is you’ll be paced into a police vehicle and you’ll be taken to the nearest police station or jail. There you will have a mug shot and your fingerprint was taken. In some states, a driver can be released right away if the bail is paid, but there are several states requiring a driver to be held for a certain period of time until the driver is sober up. You’ll be given a ticket or a summon once you are arrested and it shows the date you have to appear in court to face the charges, and this can be a humiliating experience to other people. There is a chance that you get to see yourself in a video failing the field sobriety test taken from the officer’s dashboard camera or taken at the jail where you have been processed if ever you deny all the charges and plead not guilty.

Remember that in all states, first-time convictions include loss of driving privileges for a specific period of time. Once you are arrested for DWI or DUI, it is best to contact a lawyer right away so that you are well-represented in court and you’ll be given a legal advice of the best course of action you need to do.

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