What is the Difference Between a DWI and a DUI?
DWI and DWAI are terms that refer to driving while intoxicated or impaired. This type of offense involves having a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. Other versions of the offense include Aggravated DWI and DWAI-DRUG. Combining drugs and alcohol can also result in a DWAI charge. In a nutshell, these are the same crimes, with the only differences being the punishments.
BAC of 0.08 percent or more
A driver with a BAC of 0.08 percent or more is considered to be under the influence of alcohol. This level impairs a person’s ability to drive safely and can lead to a dwi or dui. BAC levels above 0.08 percent are considered to be dangerous, and can result in serious consequences, including jail time, fines, and other consequences.
The BAC of an individual is based on several factors, including weight, gender, and the number of drinks a person has. The average person needs several drinks to achieve a BAC of 0.08%, and not all drinks contain the same amount of alcohol. For example, one cocktail at a bar may contain double the alcohol of a cocktail at another.
The criminal penalties for DWI and DUI offenses depend on the severity of the offense. A first offense is a misdemeanor, and a second and third offense are misdemeanors. However, if you have a history of drunk driving, a third or fourth offense is a felony. You can also be designated as a habitual offender for three years after your third offense.
A first conviction for DWI carries a $500-$1000 fine, and a second conviction carries a $1,000-$5,000 fine. A third offense carries additional monetary penalties, such as ignition interlock device installation and suspension of your license.
Taking part in a drug or alcohol treatment program
DUI and DWI treatment interventions can vary in their frequency, duration, and intensity. They may range from brief, one-session interventions to multicomponent programs, including in-patient care and long-term aftercare. The types of interventions offered vary according to the characteristics of the DUI offender. Taking part in a treatment program is often mandatory for DUI offenders.
Taking part in a drug or alcohol program for a dwi and dui is an effective way to avoid a criminal record. Taking part in a program can help you save money on the costs associated with a felony conviction. Court costs, fines, and lost time are only a small part of the expenses associated with a DUI conviction. Oftentimes, insurance companies or state programs will pay a portion of these costs.
Immobilization of a vehicle after a dwi or dui
An immobilization of a vehicle after a DWI or DUI charge may be ordered by a court. This impounding may be temporary or permanent. Temporary impoundment involves placing a boot or sign on the car that prevents it from being driven. Permanent impoundment may be necessary if the defendant has committed multiple DUIs.
Once an immobilization order has been issued, the car cannot be moved. The vehicle may be impounded for the duration of the criminal forfeiture, given to the arresting officer, or sold at auction. In either case, the vehicle cannot be sold back to its owner.
A court may impound a vehicle for up to 90 days after a DWI or DUI conviction. The impoundment period is usually 30 days for the first DWS, 60 days for a second DWI, and 180 days for a third DUI or DWS offense within five years. The impoundment of a vehicle can occur at a storage facility, a private property, or even on the offender’s property if he or she consents.
Getting an ignition interlock device after a dwi or dui
The requirements for getting an ignition interlock device after a DUI or DWI conviction vary by state. In some states, first-time offenders with a BAC of less than.10 percent are not required to get a device. Other states require drivers with a BAC of at least.10 percent to get an interlock device. Depending on the state you live in, you may also be required to get an interlock device after a second DUI or DWI conviction.
In New York, drivers who have received a DWI or DUI will have to get an ignition interlock device installed in their car. While other states only require these devices for certain types of offenders, this practice is mandatory in New York.