What is the difference between a DWI and a DUI?

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What is the difference between a DWI and a DUI?

What is the difference between a DWI and a DUI?

Asked on October 7, 2018 under Criminal Law, Arkansas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Both DUI and DWI are terms that are used in reference to operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or illegal drugs. The obvoius difference between the two is what the letters stand for. DWI is an acronym for "driving while intoxicated/impaired" and DUI stands for "driving under the influence". The laws regarding how a DUI or DWI is to be dealt with or prosecuted varies from state-to-state.  The terms can have different meanings or they can refer to the same offense, depending on the state in which you were pulled over. In the states where the drunk driving laws are different for a DUI and a DWI, a DUI is a lesser charge and indicates a lesser degree of intoxication than a DWI. Sometimes, these states will allow the charges of a DWI to be reduced to a DUI.


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