Similarities and Differences Between DUIs and DWIs

Similarities and Differences Between DUIs and DWIs

There are significant differences between a DUI and a DWI, and the state in which the offense occurs determines the consequences for each. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are two separate terms that can signify quite different things, depending on where they occur. Here are some of the major similarities and differences between DUIs and DWIs.

Defining DUI and DWI

The terms “DUI” and “DWI” have significantly different definitions: “DUI” stands for “driving under the influence,” whereas “DWI” stands for “driving while intoxicated, inebriated, or impaired.” A DUI charge indicates that a driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs while they were driving. It’s worth noting that the drugs don’t have to be illegal. Even if a person was impaired as a result of using prescription or over-the-counter medicines, they may be charged with a DUI.

On the other hand, a DWI charge indicates the presence of any mind-altering substance. This can include anything from illegal narcotics to prescribed drugs. Whether you’re charged with a DUI or a DWI, a law enforcement officer can only bring the charge against you if they can establish you were too intoxicated to drive.

Will a DUI or DWI Affect My Insurance Rates?

Your insurance rates will almost certainly rise if you’re charged with a DUI or DWI—they may even triple. In some situations, your insurance company may drop you entirely.

Your insurance company will determine how much your premium rises. After a DUI or DWI conviction, you may also be forced to acquire an SR-22 certificate, depending on your insurance carrier’s or state’s regulations. An SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility that shows you have met and will continue to satisfy your state’s current insurance requirements for a specific period of time (typically three years).

Will I Go to Jail If I Receive a DUI or DWI?

This depends on the state in which you reside. For instance, drivers convicted of a DUI or DWI in Pennsylvania may not face any jail time, whereas guilty drivers in Vermont may face up to two years in prison. If you’ve recently been charged with a DUI or DWI, look up the rules in your state to see what consequences you could face.

We hope our recap of the similarities and differences between DUIs and DWIs has been helpful. If you need FR-44 insurance in Florida to get back on the road after your DUI conviction, be sure to reach out to Serenity Group today.