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DWI Or DUI – Which is Worse?

Are you wondering about DWI or DUI which is worse? Well if you want to know more on this topic, you are in the right place.

After having a few drinks, you drive home and are pulled over. The police says he’s giving you a D-something-I, but you don’t hear the middle letter. Which would be worse? If that middle letter were a “U” or a “W”? In this post we will dive into the topic and offer answers to your question.

PRO TIP: Learn more about Louisiana DWI laws and penalties before continuing. If you got hit with Louisiana DWI charges, we know that this page will help!

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What is a DUI?

DUI – Driving Under the Influence – has a legal blood-alcohol content limit (or BAC) is 0.08% by federal definition. Some states charge for lower depending on the age of the driver. The police officer can also charge without a breathalyzer for erratic behaviors or just suspecting alcohol has influenced you.

What is a DWI?

A DWI is a Driving While Intoxicated designation. Some states call it Driving While Impaired. Those states that distinguish between DWI and DUI usually consider DWI as an intoxication from recreation or prescription drugs.

Which is the worst charge?

There is no federal designation for either the DUI or DWI charge. Some states consider them the same whereas others don’t. If they are considered different, a DWI is typically more severe. If one’s BAC was below 0.08 and it’s a first offense, some states will lower the DWI charge to a DUI. Both are difficult to fight if the officer was given a reason to pull someone over or a person failed their sobriety or breathalyzer tests. People should be aware of the laws in their state to make sure they don’t break any laws while drinking or drugging and then later driving.

What Happens if Convicted of a DUI or DWI?

If you get a DUI or DWI conviction, there are hefty consequences you could face. You could be fined, lose your license or have it suspended for a time, or have your registration suspended. You could even go to jail. The judge’s determination of what penalties you face depends on many factors. If this was your first alcohol-related driving offense, if you were convicted in certain states, if you have a child in the car with you, and how much you exceeded the legal limit, the punishments can vary widely. If different states, the definition of a “high BAC” differs, with some judges saying over 0.20 is too much while others say it’s over 0.10. Some may require those convicted of DUI and DWI to install an interlock device in their vehicle. An IID, or ignition interlock device, is a small, handheld “car breathalyzer” tied to the ignition so drivers cannot start their car after drinking alcohol and scoring too high. If you fail a retest, the car could lock you out and need to be reset. Once started, the device won’t turn off your car while running.

Laws Are Always Changing So It’s Crucial To Stay Informed

Laws regarding traffic violations are constantly changing, so it’s imperative you stay informed in any changes in your state’s laws. The best place to learn of your state’s DUI and DWI penalties and laws may be your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website. 

Since the laws can change so frequently and be rather complicated, it’s advisable to contact an experienced attorney. Make sure to choose one who specializes in DUI and DWI law and can offer you the best representation.

What Happens with My Car Insurance?

If you’re wondering if your insurance rates will rise, it depends on who your insurance carrier is and other factors. They will look at the probability of you receiving a similar charge in the future or even an accident. They look at characteristics such as your gender, age, and credit score. Most certainly, with one charge, your rates will be raised to compensate for the extra risk you now pose. This signals to the company they’ll have to pay out in the future for something. 

Your company may label you now as a high-risk driver. They may drop your policy and then you’ll have to find new insurance. This can take some work to find someone willing to take on a high-risk driver, and your premium will likely be much higher than regular, non-high risk drivers.

What happens to My Driver’s License?

If you are convicted of a DUI or DWI charge, your license may be suspended. Your state may require you to carryr a financial responsibility certificate, to become renewed. This form must be filled out by your insurance company proving you are covered and turned in to your DMV. Although the SR-22 does not raise your insurance rates, you usually have to pay between $25 and $50 for a filing fee. Some states may require you to carry double the state minimum liability limits, at least, in addition to the SR-22. This higher limit will raise your rate. In Virginia and Florida, the form is called a FR-44.

Conclusion: DWI Or DUI Which Is Worse

If you’re wondering about DWI or DUI which is worse – we hope this blog post has answered your questions. When facing any type of criminal offense your best bet is to hire an attorney. However, we understand your need to be informed on the topic.

Your Best Option When Facing DWI Or DUI Charges

Overall, the best thing is to not drink after driving. The strict laws and penalties are severe. But if you are caught and convicted, now you know a bit about what to expect and should seek out the help of a local criminal lawyer who specializes in DWI and DUI charges. One such lawyer is Carl Barkemeyer of Barkemeyer Law Firm. Barkemeyer Law Firm has been assisting those with DUI and DWI charges for many years and he is a reputable and aggressive criminal defense attorney who can assist. He has several locations throughout Louisiana and is here to help and fight for your rights!

We hope you now better understand the topic: DWI or DUI which is worse and wish you luck if you are facing these charges.


Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

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Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, and all of Louisiana.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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