You may have heard drunk driving referred to as DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) among other acronyms. But is there really a difference between DUI and DWI?
Both DUI and DWI refer to the illegal act of driving a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The chief difference lies in what the letters mean. DUI designates driving under the influence, while DWI refers to driving while intoxicated. They sound identical but some states actually classify them as separate crimes.
In a jurisdiction that classifies them separately, DUI is the lesser charge. A DUI charge denotes a lesser degree of impairment than a DWI for a driver charged with drinking and driving. Level of impairment is determined by the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of arrest. Further complicating matters, other states use the terms of DUI and DWI to signify whether drugs impaired a driver or alcohol impaired a driver. When this is the case, the term DUI is used if a person is under the influence of drugs.
In some cases, the state may agree to a plea bargain to reduce a more serious charge of DWI to DUI. If you are ever charged with DWI in a state that classifies the offenses separately and would like to have your DWI charge reduced, it is important to enlist the help of an experienced defense attorney. There are certain conditions that must be met in order to reduce a DWI charge to a DUI. For example, it must be a first offense and the driver’s BAC may not be excessively over the state’s legal limit.
Zero Tolerance Policies
There are some states in the U.S. that have created a zero tolerance policy. Georgia is one of those states which means that our courts and law enforcement workers do not make a distinction between a DUI and DWI. However, in Georgia, DUI convictions stay on your driving record for the rest of your life. The laws in zero tolerance states mandate that any BAC over the legal limit is a serious crime. Still, there are different limits for different situations. Know the BAC limit that applies to you and never drive if you think you could be above it!
The state of Georgia’s driving under the influence (DUI) laws make it illegal for drivers of all ages to operate motor vehicles if they have blood alcohol content (BAC) percentages of:
– 0.08% or higher, if they’re 21 years old or older and operating regular passenger vehicles.
– 0.04% or higher, if they’re operating commercial vehicles.
– 0.02% or higher, if they’re younger than 21 years old.
If you or your loved one has been arrested for a DUI in Georgia and need to purchase a bail bond or request legal advice, you should contact one of our bondsman as soon as possible.
If you are looking for a bail bond in Atlanta then call us today.