The Differences between DUI, DUI-D and DWAI


There are a few charges you can face if you are found to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. We have broken down the most common charges for you below.

The most common charge is a DUI – driving under the influence of alcohol. DUIs can come as DUI per se or as common-law DUI. DUI per se means that you were caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) or .08 or higher; common-law DUI is when you are found to be substantially incapable of operating your vehicle safely. If you refuse a blood or breath test, or your test shows a BAC of .15 or greater, you may be classified as a persistent drunk driver which comes with increased penalties.

DUI-D means driving under the influence of drugs. If you are found substantially incapable of operating your vehicle safely due to drugs, whether illegal or not, or due to some combination of drugs and alcohol, you can face DUI-D charges. These are treated more or less the same as DUI charges, though there is no DUI-D per se charge.

And then there’s DWAI – driving while ability impaired. This is the baby brother of drug and alcohol-related driving charges. The penalties are less severe, but the standard of proof is also lower. In this situation, all that needs to be shown is that your abilities to drive safely were impaired by the slightest degree by drugs or alcohol. Even when your BAC is less than .08, you can still be charged with DWAI if you show signs of impairment.

No matter which charges you face for drug or alcohol-related driving charges, it is always best to discuss your options moving forward with a dedicated drunk driving attorney. Check out our DUI Dictionary for more information on impaired driving laws.

DUI Matters – Denver Drunk Driving Lawyers

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