DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) are both terms used to describe the criminal offense of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of substances. The main difference between these terms lies in the terminology used by different states and jurisdictions in the United States.
In some states, DUI is the preferred term, while others use DWI. Some states even use both terms, but they may differentiate between the level of impairment, the type of substance involved, or the severity of the offense. For example, some jurisdictions may use DUI to refer to alcohol impairment and DWI for drug impairment or vice versa. In other cases, one term may be used for a lesser offense, while the other indicates a more severe charge.
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In New York, the term DWI is used to refer to driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. The state also has another offense called DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired), which is a lesser charge than DWI and refers to cases where a driver is impaired but not to the extent required for a DWI charge.
Ultimately, the specific definitions and legal distinctions between DUI and DWI depend on the state or jurisdiction where the offense occurs. Despite the differences in terminology, both DUI and DWI offenses carry serious consequences, including fines, license suspension or revocation, and possible jail time.
The abbreviation DUI and DWI are often used interchangeably. These stand for Driving Under the Influence and Driving While Intoxicated. New York Vehicle and Traffic Law does not have an offense called DUI, only DWI. Other states have only DUI and not DWI. If you have been charged with either of these consult an attorney in the state you were charged in.