Driving under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are two terms used to describe the same offense, namely driving with an illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The difference between the two terms is that DUI is typically used in states where the legal BAC limit is lower than the limit used by DWI states. In DUI states, the legal BAC limit is usually 0.08%, while in DWI states it is typically 0.10%. In both cases, the penalties for driving with a BAC above the legal limit are the same, including jail time, fines, and a driver’s license suspension.
However, there are some differences between DUI and DWI in terms of how they are prosecuted. DUI is usually considered a lesser offense than DWI, and as such, it is often prosecuted as a misdemeanor rather than a felony. In addition, the penalties for a DUI are typically less severe than those for a DWI. For example, a DUI may result in a fine and/or a short jail sentence, while a DWI may result in a longer jail sentence and/or a longer suspension of the driver’s license.