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DUI/DWI Definition

A DUI is given when an individual is driving under the influence of alcohol, and a DWI is given when an individual is driving under the influence of some dangerous mind-altering substance. DUIs and DWIs have severe consequences and can even cause individuals to lose their licenses permanently if they are not careful. 

What Is the Difference Between DUIs & DWIs? 

Depending on the state, the definitions of DUIs and DWIs are very close. Due to the similarity of the definitions, there is a great deal of confusion about the difference between the two. Historically, DUI was the only term in existence, and it referred to operating a vehicle after consuming too much alcohol. However, now that Americans are inducing many other illegal drugs, law enforcement officers needed to expand these laws to include other drugs that still cause dangerous driving conditions.  

What Terms Are Important to Know When Facing a DUI or DWI Charge? 

Be sure to have an understanding of these terms as they can be very important if you are facing a DUI or DWI charge:

  • Implied Consent: When any person is given a driver's license in the United States, they are automatically consenting to being stopped if they are suspected of being under the influence of any substance. If they deny the (Blood-Alcohol Concentration) BAC test, they can face severe charges or even have their license suspended. 
  • Drug Recognition Experts: These are officers with specific training to identify signs of driving under the influence of a dangerous substance. 
  • DUI Checkpoints: These are checkpoints set up by law enforcement officers to check sobriety on major holidays such as New Year's Eve. They are set up randomly, and everyone asked to stop legally has to comply. 
  • Blood-Alcohol Concentration (BAC): This is the concentration of alcohol in one's bloodstream and is an accurate measurement of their risk while operating a motor vehicle. 

What Are the Punishments for DUIs & DWIs? 

DUIs and DWIs are one of the worst offenses a driver can get. It is essential to realize that each state has its own regulations and definitions of what the punishments are. Typically, there is a requirement to obtain SR-22 Insurance, which has rates that are three times the price of other auto insurances. Another common requirement is that there must be an ignition lock with a breathalyzer to measure blood-alcohol levels before the car can start. Also, many states require the individual to undergo monitoring of their substance abuse habit, which will require therapy or even rehabilitative treatment in some cases. 

If your DUI causes a fatal injury, you may face jail time and severe fines to the family members of the victim. The bottom line with DUI and DWI offenses is that once you commit a crime of this nature, it is challenging to come back from it. For this reason, it is imperative to think twice before driving under the influence of any substance. If you feel this may be a risk, invest in an Uber or paid driver for the evening because, in the long-term, the investment may prevent you from making life-altering mistakes. The United States will only continue to get stricter about DUI and DWI charges because even though the problem has reduced, it is still taking too many American lives each year. 

For Minors 

Getting a DUI as a minor is a grave offense since the legal age to consume alcohol is 21 years of age in the United States. If this happens, the minor will likely lose their license and have severe implications on any college admission offers that they may have received before their DUI. Minors need to be extra careful not to consume alcohol before they are 21 and not to be involved with other minors that are driving under the influence. 

DUI/DWI Glossary Definition

A DUI or DWI is a severe offense in the United States and is given to individuals driving under the influence of alcohol or another dangerous substance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 29 people die in the United States daily due to alcohol-related car accidents. While this statistic is alarming, it is a substantial improvement from prior years.