DUI V. DWI is there a difference in NC?
Many people believe that there is a distinct difference between being charged with a DUI or being charged with a DWI. Truth be told, there is not much of a difference between these two offenses besides the acronym used to describe them. A DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. Which can be used to designate if the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. Both acronyms are used to describe the criminal offense that driving above the legal BAC limit.
In some states where DWI and DUI are classified as different offenses a DUI is the lesser of the two. As it designates a lower level of impairment than a DWI. All states have some form of a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under the legal drinking age. This means that drivers under 21 cannot have any level of BAC, since it is also illegal for a person under 21 to possess or use alcohol.
In North Carolina the Safe Roads Act of 1983 changed the previous drug and alcohol related driving offenses, and put everything under the category of a DWI. North Carolina uses BAC to establish sobriety level upon a suspected alcohol and driving offense. For those over the legal drinking age of 21 and having no prior DWI offenses the legal BAC limit is 0.08%. For commercial drivers and those who have prior alcohol related offenses the BAC limit is reduced to 0.04%. For drivers under the legal drinking age the BAC limit is 0.00%.
A DWI arrest is both administrative and criminal in nature, so there are two separate cases and two sets of penalties you face. The Civil Penalty will depend on the outcome of the criminal case. It pays to have a seasoned DWI lawyer on your side to guide you through the complex process. GreenWilson Attorneys at Law are skilled in DWI and all traffic related offenses. Please contact our office today for more information or to schedule a meeting regarding your personal circumstances.
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We’re here to guide you through the complicated, frightening, and often frustrating process known as the criminal justice system. We provide criminal law services at all levels in eastern North Carolina, including misdemeanor and felony trial defense, and post-conviction appellate work in both state and federal court.
To learn how North Carolina law may apply to your unique circumstances or to schedule a consultation, please contact GreeneWilsonCrow Attorneys at Law by calling (252) 634-9400 or visiting www.greenewilson.com.
(Sources: duivsdwi.org , DMV.org, the law.com)