What Is The Difference Between A DWAI, DWI, And A DUI?

Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs (illegal or prescription), or a combination of these substances can have serious consequences in the state of New York. If you are arrested for operating a motor vehicle after having had too much to drink or after you took drugs, the specific criminal charges you will face depending largely on the level of intoxication. Most people don’t go out for the evening intending to drive under the influence, but sometimes “just one drink” leads to another, and then another … and then the next thing you know you’ve been pulled over by the police. Because one lapse in judgment can lead to an arrest with pretty severe consequences, it’s important to understand the differences between a “DWAI”, a “DWI”, and a “DUI” as well as to understand how a DWI lawyer can help.

Is A DWI And A DUI The Same Thing?

DWI is an abbreviation for “Driving While Intoxicated” while DUI is short for “Driving Under the Influence”. People often use these terms interchangeably, however, which term is used officially in the laws of a particular state varies across the country. In most states, a person is considered too intoxicated to legally drive if they have a blood alcohol level of at least .08 %. Some states use the term DWI for this criminal offense and others use DUI. In New York, we use DWI for a blood alcohol content of over .08 % while “DWAI” or Driving While Ability Impaired” usually refers to driving with a blood alcohol level of between .05 % and .07 %.

What Are The Potential Consequences Of Getting Charged With A DWI In New York?

The consequences for being convicted of violating the laws against driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs can include a suspended or revoked driver’s license, monetary fines, and even a potential jail sentence. The severity of the penalties depends on, amongst other things, the level of the charge and whether or not it is the first offense. Prior drunk driving offenses typically result in steeper possible penalties. For even a first time DWI offense in New York, depending on the circumstances, someone can face fines of between $500 and $1000, a revoked driver’s license for at least 6 months, 3 years of Probation, or up to a 12 months jail sentence.

What Are The Potential Consequences Of A DWAI?

As stated above, in New York a DWAI is short for “Driving While Ability Impaired.” The major differences between a DWAI and a DWI is that the blood alcohol level is more than .05 % but less than .07% or there is proof that the driver is impaired either by illegal or prescription drug use or a combination of both drugs and alcohol. As such, there are three different kinds of DWAIs and each kind has different potential consequences. A DWAI involving a B.A.C. between .05 and .07 can result in a fine between $300 and $500, a 90 day license suspension, and up to a 15 day jail sentence. A DWAI involving drugs and a DWAI for a combination of both drugs and alcohol can mean a $500 to $1000 fine, a revoked license for at least 6 months, and three years or Probation or even up to one years of jail.

Local Dwi Lawyer, Jason Bassett, Is Highly Experienced In Helping With Drunk Driving Violations In New York And Its Surrounding Counties.

Whether the DWI or the DWAI is a first offense or not, being charged and convicted can have consequences that negatively affect your life not only in the short term but for the rest of your life. You need an experienced attorney to provide top quality representation and to get you the best possible outcome. Call Jason Bassett today for a free consultation.

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