Any time you get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you’re putting yourself and others in danger. Although everyone knows it’s unsafe, you often can’t think logically after you’re impaired. If you have found yourself in a situation in which you were arrested for DUI or DWI, you might have some questions regarding a conviction. The following are some answers.
Is There a Difference Between DWI and DUI?
Before jumping into the specifics of getting a conviction, you should know the difference between DWI and DUI. In many states they are considered the exact same charge. DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated” and DUI stands for “driving under the influence.” As you can see, they are quite similar in definition.
In other states, however, they are not considered the same. A DUI would be considered a lesser charge, with a DWI a greater charge. You may be charged based on your age, the amount of alcohol or drugs that were in your system or a variety of other factors.
How High or Drunk Do You Have to Be?
To be charged in a DUI or DWI case, your blood alcohol content must typically be at .08% or higher. There are some circumstances in which this would not be the case. For example, some states will convict a commercial driver if his or her BAC is .04%. If a driver is under age 21 and is arrested for DUI or DWI, he or she could be convicted regardless of the BAC. If you’re worried about what you can have in your system, simply don’t take the substance or don’t get behind the wheel when you do.
Do I Have to Be Driving a Car?
Interestingly, you don’t have to be driving a motor vehicle to be convicted of DUI or DWI. Some jurisdictions will convict you whether you’re on a boat, a bicycle or guiding a horse-drawn carriage. The rule in those jurisdictions is that anything you can ride, you can be arrested for DUI.
What Are the Legal Consequences?
If you are convicted of DUI or DWI, there are various legal consequences you could face. Some possibilities include jail time, loss of driving privileges, expensive fines and having a conviction on your record for many years. Other consequences include raised insurance rates, a poor reputation, possible job loss and similar social consequences.
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