Legal Terms: DWI vs. DUI
Nearly 1 million Americans are arrested yearly on charges of intoxicated driving. When this drunk driving accident physically harms you or another party, you can file a claim for damages against the driver. To proceed with a fair and just lawsuit, you must understand the legal jargon involved.
The two most widely used legal terms for a drunk driving accident are DWI and DUI. But what do DWI vs. DUI mean, and which one do you use when filing a lawsuit? Let’s look at the definitions of both and the implications each carries.
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Understanding the Legal Terms: DWI and DUI
It is essential to know the main difference between DWI and DUI. The letters DWI and DUI stand for “Driving While Intoxicated” and “Driving Under the Influence,” respectively.
DWI is generally seen as the worse of the two charges because it involves driving while drunk. Meanwhile, DUI only consists of driving while impaired.
DUI cases can involve prescription, illegal, and over-the-counter drugs affecting a driver’s ability to see and react. For a DWI case, any alcoholic drink, like beer, wine, or hard liquor, can be a factor.
Exploring Location-Specific Legal Variations of Both
In most states, DUI stands for driving under the influence of alcohol, while DWI stands for driving under the influence of drugs. In Texas, however, the terms are used interchangeably to mean that any substance, like alcohol or drugs, has made a person less able to do things.
In New York, the terms apply to both drugs and alcohol. If you are found guilty of either, you could lose your driving privileges, go to jail, or face even harsher criminal charges. So, if you want to learn how DUI and DWI laws differ depending on where you live, you should look into the laws in your state.
Potential Consequences and Penalties of DWI vs. DUI
When charged with either offense, the potential consequences and penalties can range in severity. A DWI conviction holds the most potential for jail time and expensive fines. You might have a suspension of driving privileges and court-mandated rehabilitation. DUI charges generally result in lesser penalties than DWI, such as probation, community service, and license suspension.
While these punishments may vary, if convicted of DWI or DUI, an individual will most likely face legal issues, fines, some form of educational classes, license suspension, and other consequences. If an individual is charged with either offense, they should immediately contact a qualified DWI lawyer to protect their rights and obtain the best possible outcome.
Know These Legal Terms!
DWI and DUI are both serious infractions and should be taken seriously. Understanding the difference between the two offenses and the circumstances and penalties surrounding each one is essential.
Each state has its legal terms for DWI/DUI, so if you have been charged, it is essential to have a knowledgeable legal representative on your side to help navigate the complexities of the law.
It is also essential to remember never to drive when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drive responsibly and stay safe!
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