DUI and DWI – What’s the Difference?

Driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated — wondering what the difference is between the two? Well if you’ve been accused of either one of these serious crimes, then it doesn’t really matter which three letters you want to use to describe it, it’s serious business. The state of New Jersey aggressively pursues those who drive while impaired, and they define impairment as operating a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. That being said, you can be convicted even if your BAC is lower than that and your driving is negatively influenced, or if you are operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of any kind of narcotic or hallucinogenic. New Jersey’s official legal code uses the terms Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), but whether you’ve been accused of DWI or DUI, it is important that you are represented by an experienced New Jersey DWI attorney. Call the lawyers at Wallace Law for the help that you need.

The state of New Jersey is serious about holding those who drive while intoxicated responsible for their actions in order to keep the roads safe, and as a result they have put severe penalties in place for those who are convicted of these charges. Those who are convicted of a first DWI or DUI offense are subject to a fine of $250 to $400, imprisonment of up to 30 days, a 3-month license suspension, a minimum of six hours a day for two consecutive days in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, and a surcharge to their automobile insurance of $1000 a year for three years. These penalties increase if the Blood Alcohol Concentrate exceeds 0.10 percent.

For those convicted of a second DWI or DUI offense, the fine increases to $500 to $1,000, the imprisonment is a minimum of 48 hours and can go up to 90 days, the license suspension lasts for two years and the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center penalty includes 48 hours of consecutive detainment at the center. The insurance surcharge remains the same, and the driver is required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for between one and three years. For third offenses the penalties increase even more dramatically, and penalties also increase if the offense occurs within a school zone or in a school crossing.  Driving while intoxicated and also under the age of 21 carries its own set of penalties because underage drinking is also illegal. Being caught with any detectable amount of alcohol in the bloodstream results in the loss or postponement of driving privileges for 30 to 90 days, 15 to 30 days of community service and mandatory participation in an alcohol and traffic safety education program.

DWI and DUI charges are extremely challenging to defend, and require extensive experience and knowledge of DWI law. The dedicated attorneys of Wallace Law have extensive experience in this area of law. Call us immediately to give yourself the best chance of minimizing the charges against you and winning your case.

Learn more about DUI and DWI here.