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DWI Vs DUI – What is the Difference?

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By: Elanora T. Kelly

Driving is a fun thing to do, but it can lead to serious trouble if done while drinking or talking to your cell phone. The authorities are strict when it comes to people who drink and drive. The law has made it clear that if you are caught doing those two things at the same time, you will face the consequences of your actions.

You must have heard of the acronyms DWI and DUI. They are different from each other. Many people get confused and think that the two are similar. I will explain how they are different and hope that you will practice more caution when you are on the road.

DWI vs DUI: What’s the difference?

DWI is the acronym for Driving While Impaired. The impairing substance referred is usually alcohol, but it can be a different substance as well. When charged with a DWI, the measurement of alcohol in your blood is not really the deciding factor here. Everything is up to the prerogative of the arresting officers. The main issue that they focus on is whether you took in something that caused impairment to your ability to drive any vehicle.

DUI, on the other hand, is the acronym for Drinking Under the Influence. Alcohol is the usual “influence” that is referred here too, but any other types of narcotics can be branded as the “influence” as well. When caught, your BAC is tested by the arresting officers. BAC stands for Blood Alcohol Level. Every state implements the 0.08 percent standard BAC. If yours is found to be exactly or higher than the standard level, you are DUI. It now becomes your job to prove that you were not driving while drunk.

Comparing DWI vs DUI, the former is the easier one to get out of because of its subjective nature. A DUI will give you more difficult time to prove that your BAC is just a fluke. You might want to hire an attorney to assist you in this situation.


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Lawyer Legions Recognizes Terry Lavenstein, ESQ.

Over 40 years experience. Distinguished member of the Maryland State Bar Association and Federal Bar Association.

The article presented here is the opinion of the author. The opinions expressed in this blog are the sole opinions of the author and do not, in any form, reflect the legal advice or opinions of Lavenstein Law LLC. Lavenstein Law LLC does not co-author, nor promote the opinions, ideas, or statements published in this forum. Any information supplied in this forum is for editorial purposes only and should not be accepted as legal counsel provided by Lavenstein Law LLC. If you seek professional legal counsel in matters of criminal law, contact Lavenstein Law LLC. Lavenstein Law LLC is a criminal defense law firm in Maryland.

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