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If you get arrested for a DWI or DUI, you may be ordered to get a vehicle interlock device such as those offered by Smart Start of Louisiana. This order may be initiated by the coordinator of a pretrial intervention or diversion program, a probation officer, judge, or any other authority. But back to the DWI or DUI… what is the difference between the two acronyms?
DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. In the past, intoxication referred to the use of alcohol. In recent years, though, more focus has been placed on the dangers of driving while using drugs and other substances as well.
DUI stands for driving under the influence. Influence can refer to any substance, not just alcohol. You can get a DUI for using any drugs including legal prescription or over-the-counter medications. If you are arrested for a DUI, it basically means that the police officer had reason to believe you were impaired while driving or operating a vehicle. Because not all substances can be tested for on-the-spot, officers sometimes rely on field sobriety tests and other means of determining someone’s level of impairment.
Depending on the state, the definitions and repercussions of a DWI and DUI charge vary. Some states only recognize one or the other. Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably. In any case, DWI and DUI both mean that a driver is being charged with a serious offense that risked the safety of everyone on the road. Do yourself a favor and just trust that both are charges that you do not want on your record.
As law enforcement procedures and sometimes even state laws change to adapt to the nationwide problem of drunk driving, remember that a DWI or DUI conviction can cause major issues in your life. Stay sober or don’t drive. Stay up to date on things related to DWI and DUI by following our blog.
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