Do you know how many people in the US die in motor vehicle crashes daily? For fatal accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver, it’s 29 people.
The sad thing is, even if many are aware of the consequences of drunk driving, it doesn’t stop some people from engaging in such dangerous activity. Now, if you have zero plans of drinking and driving, great, and if you wish to spread the word about the dangers of impaired driving, that’s even better.
Having said that, let’s talk about what a DWI offense is and how it differs from a DUI. We’ll also discuss the penalties for driving while impaired/intoxicated or under the influence to help you and others avoid potentially dangerous situations.
What’s in a Name? DUI vs. DWI Offenses
DUI is short for “driving under the influence,” while DWI is an acronym for “driving while impaired/intoxicated.” In some states, the terms can be used interchangeably, while in others, a DWI is considered the more serious offense.
One reason for this has to do with some state laws reserving the term DUI for drunk driving, and DWI for impairment by substances other than alcohol. These substances could be recreational or prescription drugs.
In any case, being charged with a DUI or DWI offense is never a good thing. Your only hope, if you want to fight the charge, is a good DWI or DUI attorney who can prove no probable cause for arrest and other viable defense for your case.
Consequences of a DUI or DWI Offense
For a DUI or DWI first offense, pleading guilty means losing your driver’s license, plus paying fines and court fees. If you get arrested for the second time, you could be looking at either jail time or you’ll be placed on probation.
With the latter, you need to perform community service. A second DWI offense also means enrolling in defensive driving classes if you want to get your license back.
Many states also require those who lose a DWI lawsuit to undergo a drug or alcohol treatment program. Some offenders are ordered to attend support group meetings, while others have to enter a treatment facility.
DUI or DWI Offenses and Increased Car Insurance Costs
Serving jail time or doing community service isn’t the end of the story. After getting your driver’s license back, you’re now considered a high-risk driver.
The bad news is high-risk drivers need SR 22 car insurance coverage, which compared to regular car insurance costs more. And by more, we mean double or triple premiums lasting up to 3 years.
Bottom line: A DUI or DWI offense isn’t only a black mark on your driving record. You can expect it to use up a lot of your time and money.
Don’t Drink and Drive
A DUI or DWI offense comes with serious consequences. However, you shouldn’t just think about how impaired driving will affect your life. Remember, the moment you decide to drive while intoxicated is the moment you’re willingly putting others in danger.
Do you have more questions about DUI or DWI offenses? Check out our other posts for more information on DUI/DWI laws.
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