Reckless Driving vs. DUI Charges: A Brief Comparison

Reckless Driving vs. DUI Charges: A Brief Comparison

There are several kinds of charges for driving dangerously, and many people get them confused. Reckless driving and DUI charges can both have severe consequences but are imposed for different driving offenses. We’ll explain the differences between a reckless driving charge and a DUI charge and how they impact your future.

What Is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving refers to operating your vehicle in a way that poses a danger to others on the road. It encompasses several unsafe behaviors, such as weaving or swerving through traffic, excessive speeding, using your cell phone while driving, or disregarding other traffic laws.

For a court to convict someone with reckless driving, there must be evidence that demonstrates the driver acted beyond negligence. It can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case and the state you are charged in. Penalties for reckless driving can include jail time, suspended licenses, or fines up to $5,000.

What Is a DUI?

DUI stands for driving under the influence, and it’s a serious offense. A person is charged with a DUI whenever they are operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. States might differentiate between a DUI and a DWI (driving while intoxicated) charge, but they are often used interchangeably.

The penalties for a DUI charge depend on the state a driver is charged in and their blood alcohol content (BAC) measured by a breathalyzer. Even if a driver’s BAC is below the legal limit of 0.08, law enforcement can still charge them with a DUI. Depending on the driver’s intoxication level, they could be punished with fines, license suspension, and jail time.

Comparing Charges

Now that you understand these charges, let’s compare the various aspects of reckless driving and DUI charges.

  • Intention vs. Intoxication: In a reckless driving case, a driver must be found to have acted beyond negligence. In a DUI case, a driver must be found to be impaired with alcohol, drugs, or both.
  • Similar Penalties: These charges accrue similar punishments but vary from state to state and on the severity of the infraction.
  • Increased Insurance Premiums: After committing a severe driving offense, the charge will appear on your driving record, and your insurance premium will increase at least 30–50 percent.

Reckless driving or driving while intoxicated can cause an accident, potentially harming others around the driver. Luckily, both offenses are completely avoidable when following traffic safety laws and driving sober.

We understand how difficult it can be to deal with the consequences of a reckless driving or DUI charge. These charges might require SR22 insurance when you are able to drive again. If you or someone you know is looking for SR22 insurance quotes in California, reach out to Serenity Group. We can provide fair quotes to drivers across the country.