If you are facing a DUI charge, you are likely wondering: which is worse? DUI stands for driving under the influence of alcohol. While both are serious criminal charges, the difference is subtle. The DWI offense is more serious than the DUI charge, but there are several ways to prove your innocence. A DWI case can involve several parties, including the person who provided alcohol to an underage drinker and the store where the driver purchased the alcohol.
DWI involves an intoxicated driving charge, whereas DUI requires a blood alcohol content test. Generally, DWI charges require a BAC test, which can come from urine, breath, or blood. This test can determine whether a driver was over the legal limit and therefore impaired. It’s difficult to prove DWI without a test result, so it can be the worse of the two charges.
While the penalties for DWAI charges are more lenient than DUIs, the sentences are more severe for first-time offenders. In New York, a DWAI conviction carries a fine of up to $1000 and up to a year in jail. In addition to fines and jail time, a DWAI conviction is likely to revoke your driver’s license for six months.
If you’re convicted of a DUI, your lawyer will likely charge you with a DWI. In California, this charge can be more serious than a DUI, but it is still a criminal charge. DWI has a higher fine than DUI, but both have similar penalties. The fines for a DUI/DWI differ by state. In California, a first-time conviction can lead to a $1800 fine.
The difference in penalties between the two crimes is substantial. While DUI refers to driving under the influence of alcohol, DWI involves the impairment of driving due to drugs. These drugs can be over-the-counter, prescription, or illegal. Regardless of the substance, both can ruin your life. In addition, the two terms are not interchangeable, so there are nuances between the two charges. Ultimately, the penalties for either charge are serious and may affect your driving record.
A DWI charges can be difficult to fight because the consequences vary from state to state. Depending on the BAC of the driver, he or she could face jail time, license revocation, or both. DWAI is less serious than a DUI charge, but it can become a felony if someone is injured or killed. A DWAI conviction also stays on your driving record for a three to five-year period.
In Texas, DWI penalties are more severe than DUI charges. Under Texas law, minors can be charged with a lesser DUI charge even if the alcohol content in their system is below the federal limit. However, adults who are over 21 can be charged with a much more serious DWI. The Texas Penal Code requires a BAC level of 0.08% or more, or visibly driving while impaired.