The McHenry County DUI Lawyer

(847) 854-7700        
The McHenry County DUI Laywer

(847) 854-7700        

What’s the Difference Between DUI and DWI

Nov 15, 2020 | DUI, McHenry County DUI Lawyer

DUI means driving under the influence, while DWI could either mean driving while intoxicated or impaired. These two acronyms can mean the same thing, or perhaps a little different due to some added elements.

The consequences for defaulting in both vary from state to state. Sometimes, they are known by different terms in most regions in the US. Whatever may be the case, both situation means that the driver is charged for endangering his life and others.

It entails alcohol, drugs, or perhaps a medication prescribed by a doctor. If these impair your ability to drive, you can be said to be driving under the influence or driving while impaired.

Please take note that one is not more severe than the other. Both can have a substantial effect on your life.

State By State Differences

If you want to understand DUI and DWI correctly, you need to find out what is obtainable in your state regarding driving under the influence. Some states regard drunk driving as DUI, while some know it as DWI.

Sometimes, it becomes somewhat confusing when a state uses both terms. In that case, both can mean different things. DUI will mean impairment from alcohol, while DWI could refer to substance use.

To be specific, find out the meaning of DUI and DWI in your state to be on a safer side.

Drugged Driving Is Impaired Driving

When the cop pulls you off for suspected drunk driving, the officer’s most likely action is to test for alcohol using a breathalyzer. If the result comes out clean, the officer might suspect drug use, thereby calling a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) to conduct some tests.

If the drug test comes out positive, you’ll be arrested and charged for driving under the influence or driving while impaired. The charge depends on the state and what they refer to as drugged driving.


If you’re charged for DUI or DWI, do not take it lightly as it comes with daring consequences. If you lose the case by pleading guilty, there is a huge chance you might lose your driving license. That is not all, as there will be fines to pay, including court fees.

If the incident is to repeat a second time, the individual may go to jail.  Sometimes, you’ll be placed on probation or be required to perform some community services. When it comes to your license, it might not be given back unless you attend defensive driving classes.

Some states wouldn’t let you off quickly, as they might enroll you in a drug or alcohol treatment program. Like many defaults, such can be a nightmare.

After A Conviction

When you get your driving license back, you’ll need an SR – 22 insurance depending on your state. I could entail paying higher premiums in your insurance for three years.

Also, a device might be installed on your car, which you need always to blow some air before the vehicle can start. It helps ensure that you’ve not been drinking or under any influence.

Whenever you’re under the influence of alcohol or drug, resist the urge to get behind the wheel. You should call someone to pick you up, or perhaps a taxi. The consequences of DUI or DWI are threatening and will affect every area of your life.

For help with your DUI or traffic case, please contact our office.  With over 75 years of combined legal experience, Attorneys David B. Franks, David N. Rechenberg and James H. Andrle have helped regular people overcome extraordinary obstacles.

Get the representation and compensation you deserve

Contact Franks & Rechenberg, P.C. today

(847) 854-7700