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Getting Out Of A DUI/DWI

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Whether you've been charged with DUI or DWI, you still have much to lose if convicted. Complete an online case evaluation and contact a lawyer by clicking below.

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DUI Vs DWI

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Drunk driving - you may have heard this referred to as DUI or DWI, among other acronyms. But is there really a difference between DUI and DWI?

What's The Difference Between DUI And DWI?

Both DUI and DWI refer to the illegal act of driving a vehicle while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. The chief difference lies in what the letters mean. DUI designates driving under the influence, while DWI refers to driving while intoxicated. While they may sound identical on the surface, some states actually classify them as separate crimes.

If you live in a jurisdiction that classifies them separately, DUI is the lesser charge. A DUI charge denotes a lesser degree of impairment than a DWI for a driver charged with drinking and driving. Level of impairment is determined by the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of arrest. In some cases, the state may agree to a plea bargain, reducing a more serious charge of DWI to DUI. Have you been charged with DWI? If you live in a state that classifies the offenses separately and would like to have your DWI charge reduced, it is important to enlist the help of an experienced defense attorney.

There are certain conditions that must be met in order to reduce a DWI charge to a DUI. For example, it must be a first offense and the driver’s BAC may not be excessively over the state’s legal limit.

Zero Tolerance For Drunk Driving

There are some states in the U.S. that have created a zero tolerance policy. These states do not make a distinction between a DUI and DWI. The laws in zero tolerance states mandate that any BAC over the legal limit is a crime. Further complicating matters, other states use the terms of DUI and DWI to signify whether drugs impaired a driver – or alcohol impaired a driver. The term DUI is used if a person is under the influence of drugs.

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States/Abbreviations
AK Alaska LA Louisiana OH Ohio
AL Alabama MA Massachusetts OK Oklahoma
AR Arkansas MD Maryland OR Oregon
AZ Arizona ME Maine PA Pennsylvania
CA California MI Michigan RI Rhode Island
CO Colorado MN Minnesota SC South Carolina
CT Connecticut MO Missouri SD South Dakota
DE Delaware MS Mississippi TN Tennessee
FL Florida MT Montana TX Texas
GA Georgia NC North Carolina UT Utah
HI Hawaii ND North Dakota VT Vermont
IA Iowa NE Nebraska VA Virginia
ID Idaho NH New Hampshire WA Washington State
IL Illinois NJ New Jersey WI Wisconsin
IN Indiana NM New Mexico WV West Virginia
KS Kansas NV Nevada WY Wyoming
KY Kentucky NY New York DC Washington DC