It may be challenging to distinguish between a DUI and a DWI, but in those jurisdictions where both are recognised, they are different. Explain DWI. DUI stands for "driving while drunk," even if the abbreviation stands for "driving under the influence." To help you understand your state's alcohol and drug traffic laws, the insurance editorial team at Bankrate breaks down the differences between DWI and DUI charges and explains how your vehicle insurance can be affected if you are found guilty of driving while intoxicated.



Defining DUI vs. DWI

While the terms DUI and DWI may be used interchangeably in some areas, they may not in others. The level of intoxication may be related to these definitions.

When a state has both DUI and DWI laws, the DWI offence may be considered more serious. So what is a DUI? An allegation of DUI may suggest that the driver used alcohol or drugs while operating a vehicle. It's important to keep in mind that drugs don't always have to be prohibited. A DUI arrest may also occur if someone uses over-the-counter or prescription drugs and gets inebriated. A DUI may still be applicable even if the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) is below the permitted level but they are still intoxicated.

If so The distinction between a DUI and a DWI charge ultimately comes down to the state where the incident occurred and the BAC limitations set forth. Indeed, a number of states bring charges against anyone who has driven under quite different circumstances when intoxicated. Knowing the driving laws in your state will ensure that you never exceed the permitted limits for alcohol and drugs while operating a vehicle.

It is only when a police officer can prove that you were too drunk to drive that you can be charged with DUI or DWI.


OUI vs. OWI


In some states, drivers may be charged with either OUI or OWI. Operating while intoxicated (OWI) is synonymous with operating while under the influence (OUI) of intoxicating liquor. Currently, this language is used by five jurisdictions to impose similar fines on drivers:


OWI in Iowa and Illinois

OUI in Massachusetts Michigan: OWI; Maine: OUI

OWI in California

OWVI and DUAC

In several states, drivers who have an OWVI or DUAC may be charged costs. OWVI is an acronym for operating while visibly intoxicated, whereas DUAC stands for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Driving while visibly drunk by alcohol or a controlled substance in Michigan can result in an OWVI conviction, despite being a less serious infraction than an OWI. In South Carolina, the term DUAC is used instead of DWI. In South Carolina, a DUAC differs from a DUI in that the former considers the driver's degree of impairment independent of their blood alcohol content (BAC), whilst the latter is limited to BAC levels above 0.08.

Consequences that a DWI or DUI may have in each state

staying true to your conviction

If you are found guilty of a DUI or DWI, you may face harsh consequences like fines, licence and registration bans, and possibly jail time. The specific penalties, however, differ based on several factors, such as the state in which you were found guilty, whether this was your first offence involving drunk driving, if you were transporting minors, and the extent of your intoxication.

For example, certain jurisdictions will increase your punishment if it is determined that you have a "high BAC," even though the exact definition of high may differ. A high blood alcohol content (BAC) in South Carolina is only 0.10 percent, however in Washington, D.C., a BAC of 0.20 percent or higher may be considered excessive several states After their first DUI, drivers in certain jurisdictions are required to install an interlock device in their vehicle; in others, this requirement is only applied after a second or never occurs.

Since traffic laws are always changing, it's imperative that you stay informed about any changes to the legislation in your state. Therefore, the best source for the most up-to-date information on the DUI penalties that are applicable in your state may be the DMV. If you have been charged with DUI or DWI, you may want to consult with a lawyer so they can help you navigate the process.



Will DUIs and DWIs impact my insurance rates?

Yes, but how much depends on your carrier and several rating factors. To calculate the overall risk that you will be in an accident, your insurance carrier looks at a number of criteria, including your driving history and, in some areas, your age, gender, and credit score. Because drunk driving is a risky behaviour, your insurance company will probably raise your premium to reflect the greater likelihood that they may need to settle a claim on your behalf in the future.

Your insurance company may also label you as a high-risk driver if you have a DUI or DWI conviction. If so, it may decide not to renew your policy, in which case you would have to find another insurance provider. After a DUI, obtaining coverage Yes, but how much depends on your carrier and several rating factors. To calculate the overall risk that you will be in an accident, your insurance carrier looks at a number of criteria, including your driving history and, in some areas, your age, gender, and credit score. Because drunk driving is a risky behaviour, your insurance company will probably raise your premium to reflect the greater likelihood that they may need to settle a claim on your behalf in the future.

Your insurance company may also label you as a high-risk driver if you have a DUI or DWI conviction. If so, it may decide not to renew your policy, in which case you would have to find another insurance provider. After a DUI, obtaining coverage minimums that the state has imposed. The application you would submit in Florida and Virginia

Drunk and Drugged Driving Laws

Consider New York legal jargon to gain an understanding of how intricate state DUI statutes are. These include:

A blood alcohol level (BAC) of at least 0.08% is typically associated with DWI. The standard for commercial drivers in New York is 0.04%.

Arguably, driving while intoxicated (DWI) requires a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.18%.

Driving while intoxicated (DWAI/alcohol) requires a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than 0.05% but less than 0.07%.

operating a vehicle while impaired by a single drug, except alcohol (DWAI/drug).

driving while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs in combination (DWAI/combination).

A driver in New York may face penalties if they are found to have been operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of between 0.02% and 0.07%.

as per the zero-tolerance policy of the state.

According to New York law, driving when inebriated or under the influence of drugs carries jail time, fines, and licence suspension.

In most cases, losing your driver’s license results in the cancellation of your auto insurance.

New York law is just one instance. Drunk and drugged drivers are subject to state-specific laws and penalties when driving. For example, a first-time DUI conviction in Wisconsin may result in a nine-month licence suspension; in Georgia and Tennessee, on the other hand, it may result in a one-year restriction.