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What are the differences between DUI and DWI?

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2023 | Blog, Drunk Driving

Being pulled over by police in Florida and subsequently arrested for DUI or DWI is scary. Although most people think of the two charges interchangeably, they are not identical in some respects.

Understanding DUI

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a charge that can occur when a driver has alcohol in their bloodstream. If a police officer pulls a driver over and suspects that they have been drinking, they might ask them to perform field sobriety tests or submit to a breath test. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08%, but in some cases such as with drivers under 21, a person can be arrested even if their BAC is as low as 0.01%.

Explaining a DWI charge

A person can face charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI) if they are found to have alcohol or drugs in their system while behind the wheel. If the person is impaired by drugs, it doesn’t matter if they are illicit ones acquired off the street or those legally prescribed by a doctor.

Difference between DUI and DWI

The main difference between DUI and DWI charges is that DUI refers to drunk driving while DWI involves the presence of alcohol or drugs in a driver’s system. Additionally, while both are serious charges that require a strong criminal defense, DWI is considered the more serious of the two. As such, if a person is convicted, they can face stricter penalties.

Depending on the circumstances, if a person is charged with DWI, they might be given the chance to get the charges reduced to DUI. Of course, it may also be possible to challenge the results of field sobriety or breath tests.

Either of these charges can change your life and future. Even if you’re not convicted, there are consequences you could face in your daily life.