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Jun 02

The Similarities And Differences Of DUI vs DWI

Many people charged with either DWI or DUI not only don’t know the full consequences of their actions, but they don’t fully understand the charges. There is a difference between NJ DWI and NJ DUI penalties, and they can also vary from state to state as to what terminology is used and why. It’s important that you have a knowledgeable lawyer to help guide you through the DUI vs. DWI confusion and get you out of the woods.

Either charge can set you back quite a bit of money, cause you to lose your license and even spend some time in jail. Most jurisdictions are going to suspend the jail sentence for the first charge, but you will have to spend a night in jail at least or until you bonded out for your court date. Then what do you need to understand about DUI vs. DWI?

DUI & DWI Defined

The first thing about these two charges you need to know is what they stand for. DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. DUI stands for driving under the influence. In some jurisdictions, there are also DUID and OWI charges.

Most people think driving under the influence is all about alcohol and that DWI, not DUI, is related to drugs. They couldn’t be more wrong, however, as though the definitions for each type of charge are going to be different in each state, DUI can be related to drugs, even over the counter and prescription medications.

Of course, the consensus that DWI is not about alcohol and only about drugs and other illegal substances would then also be incorrect, right? Yes.  DWI can also pertain to alcohol-related charges, and when it does come to alcohol-related charges, the impairment limits are the same.

Even the penalties are quite similar, much of which was mentioned earlier. Another part of the penalties that offenders must pay are steep fines and community service. Remember the mention about first offenses? Repeat offenders can end up facing serious jail time, heftier fines, and they can lose their license for even longer periods of time.  It should also be noted that some states don’t use the acronym DUI. On the other hand, there are also some states that don’t use the acronym DWI, as well as the other two that were given. So after reading what’s been dished out so far, it almost sounds like these charges are interchangeable in ways.

One more thing should be noted in comparison, and it related to some jurisdictions that do indeed have both types of charges. In this case, it is often the consensus that DUI is a lesser charge than a DWI. This is not only a standard that seems to make its way through some courts, but it is most likely the reason people thought that DUI meant alcohol and DWI meant drugs. Those are the major differences and similarities between DWI and DUI charges.