DUI and DWI: What’s the difference?

May 16, 2017

If you ask a good majority of your average citizens, it is likely that they will confuse the difference between a DUI offense, and a DWI offense. Both are in the same category; in that they refer to driving while impaired by alcohol and/or other drugs. Frankly, it might also vary on your jurisdiction as to how precisely the two are classified. The differences that are congruent in every region, is the obvious difference in the actual acronym. The DUI acronym stands for ‘Driving Under the Influence,” while the DWI acronym stands for ‘Driving While Intoxicated.” If you do happen to live in a jurisdiction that concludes them as different offenses, the difference is usually that the DUI is of a lesser-consequential charge. In Oklahoma, however, it’s actually the opposite, which you may not have been aware of, unless of course you yourself are a DUI lawyer in Oklahoma City. The difference is all relevant to your BAC level, or Blood Alcohol Content level. If you are operating a motor vehicle and your BAC is 0.08% or above, you are concluded as to be driving under the influence (DUI); If your BAC is below 0.08%, but you are driving with alcohol in your system, it is then considered, as driving while intoxicated (DWI).

If it is a first offense, consequences are as follows:

  • Between 10 days and 1 year of jail time
  • Fine of up to $1,000
  • Revocation of driver’s license for a time period of 6 months (180 days)

If a second offense is committed within 10 years of the first offense, then the consequences are as follows:

  • Between 1 and 5 years of jail time
  • Fine of up to $2,500
  • Revocation of driver’s license for 1 year (this is if there was a previous revocation of driver’s license in the past 5 years)
  • Requirement of an ignition interlock device in vehicle for 6 months to 3 years after the period of license revocation

If it is a third offense or more, then the consequences are as follows:

  • Between 1 and 10 years of jail time
  • Fine of up to $5,000
  • Revocation of driver’s license for 3 years (this is if there were 2 or more DUI license revocations within the past 5 years)
  • Requirement of an ignition interlock device in vehicle for up to 3 years after license revocation

Unfortunately, these fines aren’t the only monetary consequences when one is convicted of a DUI. There are multiple other fees involved:

  • Lost time from work
  • Processing fee for license revocation – $75
  • Fee for license reinstatement – $25
  • Fee for limited authorized driving – 175$
  • Insurance rates increase
  • Costs for Alcohol/drug treatment
  • Costs for transportation during period of time of license revocation
  • Etc.…

And these aren’t the only prices you might have to pay for drinking and driving, the biggest consequence could be your life, or the life of someone else. Unfortunately, many of us are ignorant enough to think that we are the exception, that we are perfectly capable of operating a vehicle when we have had a few drinks; but the reality is, the effect alcohol has on our reflexes and reaction times is not something that we have control over. As soon as you let a certain amount of alcohol in your body, you’re no longer in complete control.

Let us help you get back some control over your life. If you have been convicted of a DUI or DWI in the area, you will be in need of a DWI attorney in Oklahoma City. The penalty costs and other various consequences can be vastly tolling on your time, your wallet, and your life. Here at Worden Law Firm, we are here to help. Please, contact us today, and let us help you get your life back.

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