DWI versus DUI


DWI or DUI, neither is something that you want on your record. The two acronyms sound similar, but there are differences (albeit slight ones). Know the legalities of these two and prevent yourself from ending up in trouble. You don’t want to spend time in jail, completing a DWI education program online and have this kind of stain on your record.


Short for “driving while intoxicated,” a DWI is impaired driving while just over the legal limit, which is a blood alcohol level of .08. This is not limited to alcohol. If you have no alcohol in your system per a breathalyzer and a police officer suspects you of using drugs, you could still get in trouble. This means immediate suspension of your license, a court-ordered drug and alcohol course and many other unpleasant consequences.


“Driving under the influence” is when you are clearly impaired and are operating a vehicle. Like a DWI, this includes alcohol and drugs and could get you into deep trouble. This kind of offense is a misdemeanor and will have long-term ramifications like revocation of your driver’s license, possible job loss and jail time and/or community service.

What About Marijuana?

If recreational marijuana is legal in your state, it is irrelevant. Your brain and body are still under the effects of a mind-altering substance and you should not be on the road. You know the law and you know that you are putting other people at risk if you are under the effects. When in doubt, avoid driving. There are plenty of other avenues to get home like a taxi service, apps like Uber and Lyft and the good old-fashioned designated driver.

Understand that laws will vary state by state, so be smart in your choices and educated on your local laws. Avoid being a statistic and keep yourself and everyone else safe.