DUI stands for driving under the influence and DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. DUI is driving under the influence of substances even though they are legal. DWI is driving a vehicle after consumption of alcohol and blood alcoholic concentration is 0.08% or more.
Both DUI and DWI are illegal act of driving a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Some states consider both DUI and DWI as same but there are differences between DUI and DWI, such as:
Based on age
There is a difference between DUI and DWI based on the age. Driving under influence is reserved for minors under age of 21 years. If a minor is arrested for drunk driving he or she may be charged for driving under influence (DUI).
Driving while intoxicated is directed for adults. If an adult driving a vehicle while drinking, he or she may be charged for driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Based on blood alcohol content
Another difference between DUI and DWI is based on the concentration of alcoholic content in blood. An individual can be charged with driving under influence (DUI), if blood alcoholic content is maximum of 0.08%.
An individual can be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), if the blood alcoholic content is minimum of 0.08% and maximum blood alcohol content. This can be measured by performing tests like blowing air out from mouth, blood samples.
Based on the influence of drugs
Driving under influence is due to the influence of drugs like opium even though they are legal. Driving while intoxicated is the driving which is influenced by the alcohol consumption with the concentration of alcohol in blood with more than 0.08%.
Based on punishments and penalty
The main difference between these two depend on the severity of punishment. Although the penalty and punishment depends on the environmental conditions surrounding the conviction and individual criminal record, driving under influence (DUI) has less penalty than driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Penalties include jail time, suspension of license. In both the conditions, the license will be suspended but much shorter time in case of DUI compared to DWI. In case of DUI, license will be suspended for less than 60 days whereas in DWI, license will be suspended for 60-180 days depends on the severity of the condition.