A lot of people often ask what the difference between DUI and DWI are. Most people think they are the same. Actually, they are the same in a sense that both are violations for drunk driving, but they are also somehow different when defined — Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is the term used to refer to adults, over 21 years of age who are caught driving when they exceeded the acceptable Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) which is 0.08. On the other hand, Driving Under Influence (DUI) is a charge given to minors, those who are 21 years old and below who are caught driving with alcohol in their system.
When you are a minor in Denver, Colorado, you are not allowed to drive when you have consumed even the slightest amount of alcohol. They observe zero-tolerance when it comes to teenage drinking and driving as most of the worst instances of drunk driving reported involve teenagers.
Now, you might be aware that there are instances when DWI and DUI are considered a misdemeanor and a felony. So, when is a DUI charged as a misdemeanor? To answer your questions, let us give you a guideline on the corresponding penalties of DUI in the state.
Your first and second DUI offense will get dealt with as a misdemeanor. The corresponding consequences vary depending on the gravity of the crime.
For first offense DUI, your license may get suspended for 60 days, and you will need to pay a fine of a maximum of $500. You may also need to render community service for not less than 20 hours but no more than 40 hours plus you need to attend alcohol awareness classes. As a first-time offender, penalties are light but doing it the second time has more substantial consequences.
For your second DUI offense, it can also readily be treated similarly to that of a DWI offense although it is still a misdemeanor charge. You will need to pay a fine of no more than $4000 plus a jail time of 30 days up to one year. Furthermore, your driver’s license will also get suspended for no less than 180 days but no more than two years. It will also get counted as a criminal offense already, and thus will stay on your record. It could affect anything you do in the future just like when applying for scholarships or student loans. Therefore, if you already got charged once, do not make the same mistake of driving while intoxicated again as it could jeopardize your future.
Under normal circumstances, your first and second conviction is a misdemeanor charge and will follow the provisions of the law under a misdemeanor. For your first DWI violation, you may get charged a maximum of $2000 plus imprisonment of a maximum of six months. The consequences of your second are higher than the first one. Your fine may reach up to $4000 and jail time of a maximum of one year.
Your third DUI offense will no longer be considered as a misdemeanor; instead, the law will write you down for a third-degree felony. As a felony charge, you will need to pay a maximum of $10000 plus imprisonment of 2 to 10 years. Additionally, you will get disqualified for voting as well as possession of any firearm. Furthermore, your license may also be suspended for 180 days up to 2 years.
If you need any assistance relating to a DUI or DWI charge, it is best to get in touch with a denver dui defense lawyer.
Your third DWI conviction is no longer counted as a misdemeanor; instead, you will get penalized per the underwritings of a felony. Thus, it is advisable not to try reaching this level as it will not just ruin your reputation, but it could also ruin your career, finances, and your future.
The allowable Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) is 0.08 percent. If you exceed that level, it is advisable not to drive anymore. And even if you haven’t reached that level, avoid driving when you have alcohol in your body. It can lead you to different kinds of trouble. When your drunk driving caused severe harm to someone, even if it is your first DWI offense, it will get counted as a felony. Therefore, practice the utmost care when driving under the influence of alcohol.
Good read: 5 Things a DUI Lawyer Can Do (That You Probably Can't)
Most of the time, it happens so fast, you won’t even have time to think. But accidentally killing someone because you are driving drunk will give you a felony charge. There are hundreds of instances in history where good people end up rotting in jail because of a small mistake. Do not try to gamble your life and your future driving when drunk since you might regret it for the rest of your life. It is best to be careful than have regrets. The court will base everything on evidence and not on your reason why the accident happened.
One cardinal rule you have to remember, never take in any passengers when you are driving drunk, especially children. When you are caught drunk driving with kids ages sixteen years and under, you will get charged for DWI felony. You are endangering their lives by taking them in your ride while drunk.
DWI or Driving While Intoxicated is one of the most common violations in the United States. While the many violations are harmless, there are also many that have caused severe bodily injuries and even death. Also, there are many times when properties are destroyed, and the outcome often causes stress and more problems to the drunk driver.
Many questions are arising on the severity of punishment for those convicted violators. The truth is that the consequences are different based on the severity of the violation as well as a result. A DWI charge may get counted as a misdemeanor only; however, it can also get counted as a felony. DWI misdemeanor and DWI felony are determined based on different factors.