Differentiating Between DUI and DWI

Differentiating Between DUI and DWI

DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Impaired) are often loosely used by people. These are both criminal offenses for when a person is driving after having consumed some substance, and the specific offense can depend on what substance it was.

In any case, the substances that constitute the list for either offense have a negative effect on your perception, which is especially bad when you’re driving. You’re a danger, not just to yourself but also to others around you.

The Differences Between States

It’s commonly assumed that DUI refers to driving while intoxicated or drunk, and DWI refers to driving after consuming some other substance such as prescription or recreational drugs. This is the case in some areas, but different areas will have different terms to describe the offense.

The way to go about it is to find out what terms are used in your current jurisdiction.


In some areas, including Indiana, the term “Operating While Intoxicated” is used. Here, recreational drugs are also taken into consideration, making OWI an umbrella term. You are considered to be committing an OWI if:

Different Factors

Even if you have a BAC level of less than 0.08, failing a field sobriety test can result in you getting fined for a DUI. This law is stricter for those that are under the legal drinking age, as anyone under 21 will be punished for having any amount of alcohol in their system. Anything above a 0.00% of BAC on the Breathalyzer will be considered illegal and fined accordingly.

If you’re found committing either DUI, DWI or OWI depending on your jurisdiction, you will be penalized and, in some cases, have your driver’s license taken away. Repeating offenders may go through jail time and have to offer community service. Some states will push you to apply for treatment for your drinking habits as well.

Make sure you’ve got a good bail agent on speed dial if this happens. DeLaughter Bail Bonds offer the lowest legal bail bond rates in Fulton County, Huntington County, Allen County, IN and surrounding areas. Reach out today to learn more about their services.

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