We have to start by saying that DWI is an acronym for driving under while intoxicated and DUI stands for driving under the influence.
These terms feature different legal meaning and even though they can refer to a similar offense and even the same one based on the state you are living in.
In both cases, DWI and DUI mean that the driver will get charged with the severe offense so that you can risk the safety and health of others and him. They can apply to not only recreational drugs and alcohol, but driving with prescription drugs that could impair your abilities as well.
It is vital to understand that both of them are a serious offense and one is not worse than the other is, and they can affect your life in the future.
That is why you should check this site so you can learn more on qualities that DWI legal team possesses so you can protect yourself in case of a charge.
Definitions Differ From State To State
Everything depends on the state law in which you are pulled in, and these two terms are both used to describe drunken or impaired driving. Some state laws refer that drunk driving is DUI, while others consider it as DWI.
On the other hand, in some states both terms are relevant and explain different felonies and charges. DUI refers to alcohol and DWI to impairment by drugs or other unknown substances.
Some states consider DWI as driving while intoxicated if you have alcohol inside your blood over the legal limit, while DUI is based on charges that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
You can find other terms used as well, so you should check these laws in the state you live in so that you can prepare yourself thoroughly. Click here to learn more on driving under influence.
OWI and OUI
In three states such as Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine, you can see other acronyms for drunk driving such as OUI or operating under the influence. On the other hand, OWI refers to operating while intoxicated, which is the same thing as DWI.
The operating distinction is much more than driving and handling a vehicle, which means that even if you are in the car and vehicle is not running or operating, you can be charged if you are under the influence.
Driving While Impaired
To start from the beginning, this particular charge means that arresting officer that works for law enforcement believes and has a reasonable doubt that driver is too impaired to continue to drive.
Some jurisdiction drivers can be charged with driving under the influence even if they do not have blood alcohol concentration levels.
For instance, in case that you fail a field sobriety test or show some signs of impairment, you will be considered as a threat to the security of both yourself and others and the arresting officer can easily take you in even though you do not have blood alcohol concentration levels that will consider you as impaired.
In case that you appear to be unable to drive and arresting officer has a reasonable doubt that you cannot continue to operate, the first thing he/she will do is to provide you breathalyzer test that will show the percentage of alcohol within your blood and system.
In case that he/she suspects that you are under the influence of some drug that could impair your driving ability, you can get arrested to conduct additional tests (most commonly blood drug test) so that they can ensure whether you have drugs in your system or not.
Have in mind that you can get charged even if you used nonprescription and prescription medications apart from illegal and recreational drugs that are popular nowadays. Then the officer will call DRE or Drug Recognition Expert to the scene with the idea to perform a series of tests.
Check this link: https://www.theiacp.org/drug-recognition-experts-dres to learn more about how to become DRE.
The idea is that DRE officer has to conduct multi-step evaluation process that will determine whether you are under the influence of some drug and if the results state that you are, you will be charged with DUI or DWI.
The charge depends on the state as well as the level of offense you made. It is vital to understand that taking prescription drugs can impair your driving ability, and you are risking charges that will affect your life in the future.