DUI vs. DWI: What’s the Difference?

Are you confused about the difference between DUI and DWI? You’re not alone. Law enforcement officials commonly use both terms, yet many people do not understand the distinction between a DUI, driving under the influence, and DWI, driving while intoxicated.

Here is the difference.


There is a big difference between DUI and DWI. A DUI stands for driving under the influence, while a DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. DUI is considered a less serious offense, while DWI is considered more serious.

A DUI is when you are pulled over for driving below the legal blood alcohol limit. A DWI is when you are pulled over for driving above the legal blood alcohol limit or intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.

There are also different blood alcohol content (BAC) thresholds for DUI and DWI offenses. A BAC of 0.08 percent or higher is considered evidence of impairment and can lead to a DUI charge in most states.

However, some states have lower BAC thresholds for commercial and underage drivers. For example, in New York, the BAC threshold for commercial drivers is 0.04 percent, and the BAC threshold for underage drivers is 0.02 percent.

What Are the Legal Complications for Both DUI vs. DWI?

Each charge has its own unique set of legal complications. For example, a DUI conviction can result in jail time, fines, and a driver’s license suspension, while a DWI conviction can result in even harsher penalties, including loss of license and mandatory attendance at an alcohol education program.

It’s important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you’ve been charged with either DUI or DWI so that you can understand the potential consequences and what options may be available to you.

In any case, driving responsibly and following the law is important. If you are ever pulled over for suspicion of DUI or DWI, be sure to remain calm and respectful and remember your rights. With the right help, you can fight the charges against you and minimize the effects a DUI or DWI conviction can have on your future.

Final Thought

The key takeaway is to understand the difference between DUI and DWI, and if you are ever pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence or while impaired, it is important to remain calm and respectful and contact an experienced attorney for help.

With the right legal representation, you may be able to minimize the consequences of a DUI or DWI conviction and protect your future.